March 10 Adult Literacy in the BX – Bringing People Together

A big THANK YOU to all the committed advocates, organizers, residents, students, instructors, and HSE and TASC program directors who joined us this past Friday morning for the second-annual BRONX Adult Literacy Gathering at Hostos Community College.


Our opening panel—deftly moderated by Jon Gabay of East Side House Settlement—featured Elvin Aviles of CUNY Prep, Dontai Nottingham of East Side House Settlement, Ira Yankwitt of Literacy Assistance Center NYC, and our own Derrian Robinson of Grace Outreach (pictured below).


The four expertly fielded questions on best program practices, funding innovation, supporting college-bound residents, as well as ways ABE and high school equivalency programs might increase their student recruitment given changes in previous years’ TASC exam requirements.


Participants then dove into a speed networking session (pictured) that was closely followed by a series of small group discussions—led by Tom Hilliard of the Center for an Urban Future, Dontai Nottingham of East Side House Settlement, and our own Zaukema Blanding of Grace Outreach. The workshops addressed supporting Bronx students and instructors on the road to the TASC, program management, holistically serving Bronx residents through socio-emotional engagement, and the implications of NY State’s most recent year of TASC test performance.


We’re grateful to all those mentioned—and unmentioned—for their deep commitment to uplifting the voices and success of Bronx residents, students, and teachers. We remain quite proud to witness the inspiring range of expertise, and be part of a beautifully dense community of leaders, here in the Bronx.


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From left to right: Ira Yankwitt of Literacy Assistance Center NYC, Elvin Ailes of CUNY Prep, Derrian Robinson of Grace Outreach, and Dontai Nottingham of East Side House Settlement lead the morning experts panel


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From left to right: Chantella Mitchell of JobsFirst NYC conversing with Jessica Mingus of CUNY Start; Stephanie Gomez of Grace Outreach with Joyce Paton of The Door.