Folks are Talking: RCADD is Building Connections

This past month RCADD has provided off-site autism training to a parent support group at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, as well as to staff at Mujeres Latinas en Accion. Here’s what they had to say about our training:

“Thank you so much again for coming out to speak with our families. I wish more of our families would have made it, but I know the mothers that were able to be there really appreciated it. I also am

excited to continue to send folks your way to benefit from all that you guys offer!” – Emily Mehta, LCSW at Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics at Lurie Children’s Hospital. 

“I was very pleased to see the significant participation we had from our staff. In addition, the presen- tation was clear, fluid, and very dynamic. The information and examples you presented were educational and consistent in the sense they helped to understand not only what is autism in its definition and

diagnosis, but also, the roll caregivers and educators have to help children develop skills to gain control

and independence of their own lives. I personally enjoy the materials you provided us with. They were very graphic, complete, and well elaborated. Thank you for the samples and references!” – Shatna Osorno, Director of Parent Support Group at Mujeres Latinas en Accion.

RCADD looks forward to finding more ways in which we can work with both organizations.


Submitted by Angela Duffy

Source: Inside and Out September 2018

National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) Conference

CFL was in attendance at the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

RCADD, Senior Autism Specialist, Angela Duffy presented on:
“Not so Puzzling: Autism & Social Narratives”.
She was joined by our Assistant Director of Literacy Research, Briana Davis & Associate Director of CFL, Ruby Camacho.


Polly Smith (right), COABE Public Policy Chair, and Alaska Governor Walker at a local event at the Alaska Literacy Program.


The intent of a nationally recognized week of concentrated events, activities, and media is to bring recognition to the field of adult and family literacy. It is our opportunity to highlight the value of the work we do and the people we serve. It gives us a reason to showcase our programs with policy and decision makers. We get to advocate!

At the national level you can join us for COABE on Capitol Hill Day, September 27. We are encouraging teams of an adult education provider and a student to join. If you are interested, please click here.

At the state level, invite your district representatives to your program. Include those from the districts where your students live.

At the local level invite your assemblyperson, the mayor, judges, and other people with whom you and your students might interact at the policy or decision making level.  At the program level honor your students, volunteers, and staff with special recognition through an event or a thank you.

Include the media and let the invitees know you have asked the media to come.

For all levels use the Educate and Elevate contact button here to easily send your invitation and material about your program and activities to your representatives at all levels. Use the Educate and Elevate toolkit for press releases, facts, and talking points. In your invitation tell the guest what you would like them to do. It is always a good idea to give them an assignment – talk to the students about an issue, meet with the citizenship classes and practice the interview questions, read a book or story. Prepare your students for the meeting. Include who is coming, why, what will you want to tell them? Always follow up with a thank you. You can watch our short webinar on the value of local level outreach here.

Additionally, we have launched a new award for advocacy, aimed at recognizing advocacy at the local level. The winner will receive a $2,000 stipend plus registration paid to attend COABE 2019! More details will be shared in our September update. 

Contact with questions.

2018 FAST  West and South hosted the First OPEN HOUSE

On September 13th, 2018 FAST  West and South hosted their first ever OPEN HOUSE.   We open our doors to the community to invite in potential students and their supporters and our community partners.  We were proud to have alumni  Mrs. Star Braddock; a former student, as well as Mrs. Angelique Harris who is an Alumni of Americorp both, spoke to current and potential students. 




Doing downtime staff, student and volunteers decided to take our message to the community and we walked the neighborhood and passed out flyers. 

As recruitment continues we look forward to welcoming new students and solidifying relationships in the community.

[StorylineOnline] Watch the kids from This is Us read  If I Ran for President


Celebrate Citizenship Day!

Celebrate Citizenship Day with NBC’s This is Us stars Lonnie Chavis, Parker Bates and Mackenzie Hancsicsak who will take you through our election process and how to run for the highest office! Watch our newest video If I Ran for Presidentwritten by Catherine Stier, illustrated by Lynne Avril Cravath and published by Albert Whitman & Company.

If you ran for President, you would have to do a lot of hard work. You would study the nation’s problems, tell the American people about your platform, select a running mate, and debate your opponents on live television.

Watch Lonnie, Parker and Mackenzie read If I Ran for President and be a good Storyline Online citizen by telling us your thoughts on Twitter. We want to hear from you. 

Be sure to watch all of our videos at Keep watching and keep reading!

Don’t forget to catch the season 3 premiere of This is Us on Tuesday, September 25 on NBC.


The original content credit : 

An Official letter from Parent Outreach Office


UIC Center for Literacy has restructured its Head Start parent engagement programs under the new title of FAST Family Start Learning Support Services. We have combined the Financial Literacy Initiative for Parents (FLIP) program, the Family Literacy Outreach (FLO) Office, and our new Parent Education and Employment Readiness (PEER) program into one Parent Outreach Office.  As part of this reorganization, we have streamlined our process so that Head Start sites can schedule workshops from all three of these programs through one primary contact for the Parent Outreach Office.  We are excited about merging these efforts, as it will allow our staffs to more efficiently serve your sites and your Head Start parents. 


We are now in the process of scheduling workshops at Head Start sites for the 2018-2019 program year. Please see the attached documents for an overview of all three programs, and a workshop agreement form to indicate your preference for specific workshop topics, dates, and times.  Your site may choose to schedule workshops from one, two, or all three programs. Confirmation of workshop dates and times will be based on the promptness of the workshop agreement form being returned to me at the Parent Outreach Office.  Once the workshop agreement form is received, I will review the information and contact you with additional information to complete the formal partnership agreement.  The Parent Outreach Office will work diligently to accommodate site selection of workshops. However, it is imperative that you complete the scheduling form and email it back to our office at your earliest convenience.    


We are excited to work with you as either a returning partner or a new site partner!  If there are any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact me at 312-413-3820.


Please review the following attachments:




Donna Hampton

Program Manager

AmeriCorps Project MORE Recruitment is still on going…

AmeriCorps Project MORE is still in need of AmeriCorps members for our Parent Outreach, Volunteer Resource Program & FAST HSE(Spanish) site. For any inquiry, please email at, Jeneen Thomas.


For More information about AmeriCorps Project More :

Bill’s Back to School Book Bonanza 2018

Thank you for your support in making sure Bill’s Back to School Book Bonanza 2018 was a success.
One of Bill’s students, PhD candidate Sun’Ah Chung, put together a wonderful video that highlighted the activities that took place during Friday’s event, including a tribute to Bill. 
Please take a moment to see what we captured at the event. 
CFL appreciate your support and interest.

Folks are Talking About: The Dynamic Youth Who Served as Teen Literacy Coaches And Their Leaders

Teen Literacy Coaches supported children from early learning sites across Chicago.

Teens learned and had fun helping young children with whom they share the common bond of
Head Start and the benefits of early literacy provided at Head Start programs.

Photo highlights from the final event on  August 10, 2018 follow.




Submitted by Donna Hampton

What’s With: Building Literacy Skills in Children with Autism

On Friday, July 20th, 40 DFSS Head Start paraprofessionals gathered at the King Center for Building
Literacy Skills in Children with Autism presented by the Resource Center for Autism & Developmental Delays. The participants refreshed their understanding of autism, learned more strategies on how to engage the learner in books, and increase reading comprehension. Each participant assembled and took with them an interactive book that they could use right away with their students. Many participants enjoyed the opportunity to learn more ways to teach literacy to their students with autism.