Spring 2023 Newsletter

Spring 2023 Newsletter

Webinar Series Update

The ODC Immigrants and Refugees Issues Group for Education and Integration has changed its name to the Immigrants and Refugees Issues Group for Education and Inclusion; for short, the Immigrants and Refugees Issues Group. The co-chairs are Catalina Gonzalez and David Rosen. We have held several webinars for ODC members and the field since October:

  • On October 21, the first in a series of webinars on apps that can help adult immigrants and refugees improve their English language skills. Vinod Lobo, the founder and Executive Director of the XPRIZE winning app, Learning Upgrade, and Drew Robinson, Director of Partnerships, presented “How a Smartphone Learning Model Helps Families.”
  • On November 18, for the second in this series of webinars, Andrea Willis, Director of USA Learns, and Alisa Takeuchi, ESL instructor and Technology Subject Matter Expert, presented “USA Learns' Access America, a Free Smartphone-friendly Course to Help Immigrants and Refugees improve Opportunities for Economic Security.” This course has been designed for smartphones as well as computers.

A third in this webinar series, “Prioritizing access to essential skills and services for all - how mobile-first collaborative approaches work to bridge functional literacy and language needs for adult learners,” on Cell-Ed, also an XPRIZE winning app, was held on February 3rd. It featured Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami, CEO and founder of Cell-Ed, and three presenters from organizations that use the app with their adult immigrant or refugee learners. They included: Jenny Munoz, Senior Manager for Policy and Strategic Partnerships at the New York State Office for New Americans in Albany; Xavier Muñoz, Director of Academic Programs and Student Services at the English Empowerment Center in Falls Church, Virginia; and Liz Hughes, the Student Coordinator, at Rosie’s Place in Boston.

At least three more immigrant and refugee-focused webinars are planned for March through June, 2023. 



The ODC Steering Committee is grateful for our colleagues who have supported so many aspects of our mission. 


The Open Door Collective Wishes to thank Dr. Stephen Reder as he steps down from his role as member of the ODC Steering Committee.  One of the Collective’s original founders, Steve has been a constant advocate for the work of creating innovative solutions to the problems that affect adult foundational education learners at the intersection of literacy, inequity, and poverty. 

A professor emeritus of applied linguistics at Portland State University, Steve has been a highly recognized researcher in the field of adult education and educational technology who has made significant contributions to our field for over 30 years.  He retires (again) to spend more time with family and traveling;  the ODC will miss his contributions although he promises to remain an active member.  Steve Reder, we wish you well.  Thank you for your leadership.

A huge thank you to Margaret Patterson, a long-time member of the Open Door Collective steering committee and co-chair of the EBAES (Evidence Based Adult Education System) task force. Margaret had to step away from these roles to take a research position with the Virginia Department of Corrections this winter. Margaret’s contributions to ODC and the field are numerous but her EBAES leadership and energy has helped the field of adult foundation education move steadily in the right direction. The dream of more resources for, and better understanding of the need for research is much closer to fruition because of her work. In the short term she continues to play a role on an EBAES subcommittee. Please join us in thanking and congratulating Margaret for her contributions to the field.

EBAES (Evidence Based Adult Education System) Task Force Update: With the departure of Margaret Patterson, Carol Clymer has stepped in to co-char the EBAES taskforce along with Eric Nesheim. Carol is an Associate Teaching Professor; Co-Director, ISAL and Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy at Penn State University. She has been an active member of EBAES for many years.


The ODC Communication and Membership committee is looking for a ODC Webpage Content Manager to: 

  • Keep “What’s New” section current
  • Add new publications
  • Edit for visuals and wording

Estimated time: 1 hour per month
Skills needed: Interest or experience in graphic design or using Canva, instruction provided

If you are interested email Holly (holly@literacyservices.org




On February 9, 2023, The Adult Literacy and Learning Impact Network (ALL IN) and Engage celebrated the launch of a new U.S. Senate Caucus on Adult Literacy with a breakfast honoring caucus co-chairs, Sen. Susan Collins (ME) and Sen. Jack Reed (RI).

Engage and ALL IN partnered to support the launch of the U.S. Senate Caucus on Adult Literacy with the goals of raising awareness of this pressing issue and promoting common sense solutions at the federal and state levels.

You can check out the press release here: file:///Users/holly/Downloads/ALL%20IN%20Engage%20Caucus%20Launch%20Press%20Release%2002.09.2023.pdf