ABE Volunteer Management Conference 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016 -
8:15am to 3:00pm
Event Location: 
Minnesota Department of Education
Conference Center B
1500 Commerce St.
Roseville,, MN 55113

Thank you for attending the ABE Volunteer Management Conference 2016!

We appreciate the time, energy and enthusiasm from everyone who participated and presented.  

Here are some follow-up resources from the sessions.

Volunteer Management 101 - Power Point with notes from Jigsaw

It Doesn't Have to Be a Gift Card - Power Point

Web Toos for the Busy ABE Professional - handout

Creating Teaching Internships - presentation materials

Connecting with Volunteers to Build Community - Power Point

Personalities, Volunteers and You (DiSC) - Power Point

Navigating Difficult Conversations with Volunteers - Power Point

Navigating Difficult Conversations with Volunteers - Volunteer Conduct Agreement

Unpacking Racial Equity in ABE - Power Point

Unpacking Racial Equity in ABE - handout

Volunteers to Advocates - presentation materials

New Resources to Support Volunteers in the Classroom:



The ABE Volunteer Management Conference brings together all Minnesota ABE staff who work with volunteers: coordinators, teachers, support staff and managers alike. Browse the 12 concurrent sessions below!

Get ready to:

  • learn new strategies and ideas through 12 concurrent session offerings
  • get practical resources you can use right away
  • be inspired by this year's award winners for Excellence in Volunteer Engagement
  • network and share your professional wisdom with colleagues
  • earn six CEUs

Event timeline:

  • 8:15 a.m. Registration
  • 8:45 a.m. Concurrent sessions begin
  • 11:15 a.m. Lunch and awards
  • 12:30 p.m. Concurrent sessions resume
  • 3:00 p.m. Wrap-up

REGISTER HERE. Registration is $35 and includes breakfast and lunch. Hotel is also provided for those traveling 50+ miles to the conference.

Save to Google Calendar or Request an Outlook Calendar Invitation

Questions? Contact Ellie at epurdy@mnliteracy.org or 651-251-9061.

Concurrent session offerings included:


The New MABE and Volunteer Data | Jenny Schlukebier, Urban Planet & Ellie Purdy, Minnesota Literacy Council

Come take a walk through the New MABE database, with a specific focus on volunteer data!  We’ll spend time discussing what data to enter, where to enter it, special features of the New MABE, and more.  There will be plenty of time for Q&A.


Unpacking Racial Equity in ABE | Jodi Versaw, Minnesota Department of Education & Kristin Klas, HAP

In this interactive workshop, participants will consider their own “geography of identity”, and learn about how systems give power and privilege to dominant identities (e.g. whiteness, maleness, heterosexuality) while devaluing and “othering” non-dominant identities. Participants will then consider how issues of racial and socioeconomic equity inform volunteer work and volunteer coordination in an ABE setting. Lastly participants will brainstorm how to use their own positionality and power to dismantle inequitable systems, and how to inspire volunteers to do the same.

Give It to Me Straight: Observing Volunteers & Providing Constructive Feedback | Suzanne McCurdy, SPCLC

Our volunteer teachers deserve feedback, but when entering their classroom, what do you look for in order to give suggestions that are concrete, specific and meaningful? In this session we will zoom in on specific components of instruction on which to focus observations, resulting in feedback that is targeted and actionable.


New Resources to Support Volunteers in the Classroom | Andrea Echelberger, Minnesota Literacy Council

Volunteers are a huge asset in the ESL classroom, but finding time to prepare them to lead activities can be time-consuming for teachers. Come to this session to learn where you can access free online resources to help support and train your volunteers as they work independently or as teacher assistants. Participants will also learn recommendations for ways that volunteers can be utilized to help overcome common classroom challenges.


Volunteer Management 101 | Cathy Grady, Minnesota Literacy Council

In this session, we will discuss the basics of the volunteer management process, including volunteer recruitment and onboarding, managing risks, giving feedback, and providing support and recognition. We will also discuss ways to address concerns and deal with unexpected volunteer behavior. If you're a new or new-ish volunteer coordinator (or teacher/manager who has responsibility for volunteers), this is the place for you!


Personalities, Volunteers and You | Debbie Cushman, Minnesota Literacy Council

Join this session for a fun and interactive look at how your personality preferences play out in the workplace. We will work with DISC, a widely used personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication.


It Doesn’t Have to Be a Gift Card: Free and Low-Cost Ways to Say Thanks to Volunteers | Rob Podlasek, Minnesota Literacy Council

Saying “thank you” is a key to volunteer persistence.  Come learn and share a variety of easy, free or low-cost strategies to make volunteers feel welcome, appreciated and needed.


Web Tools for the Busy ABE Professional | Susan Wetenkamp-Brandt, Minnesota Literacy Council

Too much to do, and not enough time to do it in? No one can solve that problem in a 70-minute workshop, but you CAN learn about tech tools that will help you work more efficiently. From scheduling meetings to sharing files, and keeping an online calendar or to-do list, these free tools will help you get organized and save time (and maybe just your sanity)!


Creating Teaching Internships | Erin Cary, Lyndale Neighborhood Association

Is your capacity for lesson-planning and/or in-class differentiation maxed out by a multi-level class or one-room schoolhouse? Know a volunteer who wants to learn more about ABE? Learn how to manage a flexible but productive teaching internship to build capacity within your class. Check out the details and successful results of a teaching internship hosted at Lyndale Education Program and assess how you might frame a similar internship to fit instructional needs at your site.


Navigating Difficult Conversations with Volunteers | Allie Bezat Riley, HAP

Can you fire a volunteer? Yes. Can you do it in a way that honors both the program you’re representing and the individual volunteer’s needs? Definitely. Managing volunteers often involves initiation difficult discussions, and ultimately holding your program needs as the top priority. Today’s session will go beyond the basics to have hands on practice in initiating difficult conversations such as corrective action, conduct agreements, and potentially letting a volunteer go.


Volunteers to Advocates: Lifting Your Students' Voices | Kathleen Roche, English Learning Center

Are you tired of hearing negative portrayals of people like your students in the media? Who better to advocate for our learners than their teachers and classroom volunteers? Practice sharing the stories of hard work, resilience and kindness that you experience with your learners day to day. Disrupt the harmful stereotypes of who your students are and learn to empower yourself, your volunteers and coworkers to be a louder positive voice and advocate in our community.


Connecting With Volunteers to Build CommunityA panel facilitated by the LAN Volunteer Engagement Committee

Join a panel of ABE volunteer coordinators for a discussion about communication tips, tools and best practices.  We’ll talk about communication strategies that can help recruitment, retention, recognition, and build a strong volunteer community.  Bring your own ideas to share, too!