by Mandy Seigler, Executive Director of the Athens-Clarke Literacy Council
When the Athens-Clarke Literacy Council was approached about being a local partner with the JoLLE Conference, we were excited to participate. After some discussion, we moved forward to define our role. The vision presented to us was to have various facets of literacy come together to share in an interactive conference focused on using those literacies in the capacity of activism. What a great fit, as our purpose is to promote and support adult literacy.
Our main participation came in having three adult learners come to share their story of how literacy affects their lives. Two of them have obtained their GED and the third is lacking the last test of five. Their stories were digitally recorded and compiled into a powerful video. Two of the students attended the reception Friday night at which their stories were showcased during the Gallery Walk. The most exciting thing to me was that we were all exposed to the keynote speakers who presented their art, research, and findings. It was quite enlightening!! I know that Chris really enjoyed it. He came dressed to a T–in a suit, along with his step mom. Amy brought her son with her and they enjoyed the atmosphere.
On Saturday, I attended the entire day and went to various workshops. While many were not pertinent to my daily work, my mind was still expanded and I really enjoyed them!! It was great to hear about various literacy activist projects around the state, nation, and world.
Reflections from Rosemarie Goodrum, Emeritus Board Member of the Athens-Clarke Literacy Council
First, the title of the conference immediately intrigued me: “Activist Literacies.” I loved the idea of activism or “doing” and also had never thought of MULTIPLE literacies. From the Friday night reception to the last hour of the conference where we reflected on the day’s events, I was inspired and engaged. In fact, I had planned to leave at noon on Saturday and stayed until 5:00.
There were many outstanding presentations, but the one that transformed my thinking was A WEEK AT THE MUSEUM: Extending Literacy Through Creative Arts. The session made me realize the possibilities for a similar collaboration in Athens, and I will work to make this happen in the next few months or so. Finally, as I said in the reflection session, Tobie and Lindy brought me into the 21 Century with this conference, and I am so happy they did.