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Adult Education

Adult Education e-Source for Providers

This section is intended to provide helpful tools to providers, from statewide standards and a literacy framework to suggested practices, example programs and tips for including an intentional focus on literacy.  Then you can also hyperlink the words statewide standards, literacy framework, suggested practices, intentional focus on literacy.


The resource focuses on strategies to support and partner with existing adult and family literacy programs.

Each section of the e-Source provides information, resources, and suggested practices to address pressing issues in adult education. The resources in this e-Source are designed to help organizations and individuals contribute to current adult literacy initiatives to create a broader impact.



In spring 2017 Literacy For All (LFA), a donor-advised fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, engaged Deloitte to determine the impact of adult low literacy on Georgia’s workforce and economy. The Deloitte study provided some alarming facts:1 in 6 adults in Georgia has low literacy skills -- that’s 1.7m adults.


  1. 65% of the state’s 3rd grade students are not reading at grade level.

  2. Children whose parents have low literacy levels have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading level.

  3. Low literacy costs Georgia $1.3b annually in incarceration costs, lost revenue and social services.

  4. Literacy is a multigenerational issue.

  5. Local implementation and collaboration are keys to marked improvement.


Based on the Deloitte findings, LFA partnered with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education to initiate the Georgia Literacy Commission (GLC), a business-led group, and its Advisory Committee, comprised of education and literacy experts. They convened to study best practices relating to changing the trajectory of literacy in Georgia. The Commission released its first set of recommendations in November 2017, and they include initiatives that are actionable at the community level and have promise for statewide, systemic improvements.


To keep pace with current and future workforce needs, as a baseline, Georgia needs a literate and educated talent pool.  Possession of literacy skills is foundational to an individual’s continuing education, workforce training, and self-sustainment.  The Georgia Literacy Commission’s recommendations include initiatives that are targeted and focused on improving literacy from birth through adult years.  This Adult Education e-Source focuses on increasing awareness and engagement to improve literacy in the adult years. The ultimate goal of this e-Source is to prepare adults to be self-sustaining citizens.

A Call to Action

A Call to Action

Every year thousands of adult literacy students attend classes in Georgia. These students need engagement, access and hope to improve not just their literacy skills but also their quality of life.


This e-Source provides resources for community groups and individuals who want to help adults improve literacy skills. This e-Source directly addresses areas in which communities should focus to increase adult learning: student enrollment and community awareness.

Increasing student enrollment in adult literacy programs and reducing barriers for current adult literacy students are two of the most important areas for community focus and attention.  Communities that focus and engage in these activities can create an immediate positive impact on the number of adults improving literacy skills. The resources in the “Reaching Students” section provide community groups resources, materials and guidelines to assist with such efforts.
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Reaching Students
A lack of public knowledge and understanding is one of the main reasons that adult literacy students do not have more community support. Organizations and individuals who want to improve services for adult literacy students can help by becoming knowledgeable about issues in adult literacy and presenting those issues to members of the community. The resources in this section provide community groups and individuals with information regarding adult literacy, presentation templates about adult literacy in Georgia, and tips on when and how to make presentations to local communities.
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Informing Communities
Local organizations and community members can create awareness about the benefits and challenges facing adults with low literacy skills by participating in advocacy activities. This section provides ideas, resources and tips on how to successfully and positively promote adult literacy.
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Advocating for Change
Reaching Students

Reaching Students

  • Market and advertise free adult literacy classes to your community using the following free, prepared marketing materials from TCSG.

  • Recruit parents with the goal of being better able to support their  children and their education.

  • Keep in mind that individual introduction to a person and a program is one of the most effective recruitment methods.

  • Learn how to help adult literacy students quickly enroll in FREE adult literacy classes in their local community.

  • Learn how to develop and support dynamic adult education scholarships in local communities.

  • Create community opportunities to celebrate students who are successful.

Suggested Practices for Keeping Adult Learners Engaged

Keeping Adult Learners Engaged

Below is a list of suggested practices for adult education programming:

  • Begin programs with an understanding of each adult learner’s goals and help them work toward academic goals (e.g. resume writing if they are a job seeker) in parallel with class.

  • Provide diversified offerings catered to student goals and allowing students to pursue more than one at a time (e.g., digital literacy, ESL, Adult Ed literacy/math, GED, Citizenship Test prep).

  • Cultivate a no-stigma, high-support classroom environment.

  • Provide Strategic class scheduling (during school day for parents).

  • Establish a network of partnerships for student support and referrals to other service providers who can help students address barriers to continuing the program “stopping out” (e.g., housing crisis, transportation needs, work schedules, child care).

  • Hire instructors who are dedicated and model dependability and good work ethic.

  • Take transportation issues off the table by providing transportation, offering courses in employer facilities or housing communities or locating programs near public transportation.  Consider using Head Start busses for adult education transportation.

  • Treat each individual adult learner with respect and provide them with a sense of hope.


Below is a list of adult education in-classroom suggested practices:

  • Create a sense of community within the classroom.

  • Lessons should be engaging and interactive.

  • When a student is absent, let the student know that his/her presence has been missed.

  • Seek to connect with students who are having trouble attending class to problem solve barriers to participation in class.

  • Make sure that students know their short-term and long-term goals and that they have totally bought into the necessary steps.

  • Provide direct instruction when possible rather than an open lab.

  • Have a warm-up activity that students who arrive early can start on right away (ideal warm-up requires researching or reflecting on the class objective for the day). 

  • Greet each student as he/she walks in (helps them feel welcomed and helps me remember names).   

  • Encourage accountability partners (students help each other keep up with missed materials).

  • Have students fill out a KWL chart before starting a new objective.    Start with the K (What I know), and don't forget to come back to the L (What I learned) at the end of the lesson. 

  • Require students to write a "ticket" out of the classroom.  It can be one specific thing learned or a question about something not understood. 

  • Use "This Day in History" as a spring board for discussions in the content areas on the social studies exam (U.S. history, U.S. civics and government, economics, geography, etc.).   Students choose an article, summarize, and classify.

  • To check understanding of steps to solving a math problem, have the students "direct" the teacher's next move.  Teacher writes; students direct. 

  • Incorporate "think aloud" activities where the teacher models a problem's solution.  This also works with reading a complex text.  Teacher reads and includes internal dialogue. 

  • Establish the habit of writing responses to textbook-type questions in COMPLETE sentences.   There is no need to copy the question; however, it’s important that the instructor can the question by reading the student’s response (accomplish this by writing a complete sentence). 

  • Use graphic organizers to help students create written responses (cause and effect, definition, explaining a process, etc.).

  • Lessons should directly relate to an adult learner’s life.

  • When giving feedback to a student, always be positive and respect the student’s opinion.

  • Don’t assume that if a student says he or she understands ---that he or she does---check for understanding.

  • Don’t put a student on the spot by asking the student to read, write or speak in front of the class if you are not sure about the student’s abilities.


Adult learners often “stop out” during their educational journey.  One way to keep adult learners engaged is to offer meals.

USDA Food and Nutrition Service’ Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.  USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program plays a vital role in improving the quality of day care and making it more affordable for many low-income families. Each day, 3.3 million children receive nutritious meals and snacks through CACFP. The program also provides meals and snacks to 120,000 adults who receive care in nonresidential adult day care centers. CACFP reaches even further to provide meals to children residing in emergency shelters, and snacks and suppers to youths participating in eligible afterschool care programs.  

Recruitment Videos

Recruitment Videos

Recruitment Videos: Technical College System of Georgia - need links


These videos are designed to recruit new students to adult education programs throughout Georgia.  These short video clips, developed by TCSG, are designed both for digital platforms (social media use) and television.  The videos feature diverse characters and are available with audio, captions or no sound.  The Office of Adult Education is offering the use of these videos free of charge.

How to Use:

These videos can be used as traditional television commercials, social media content, or as content for televisions in public spaces such as waiting rooms, public libraries, or cafeterias.

To request use of the videos, please contact the Office of Adult Education’s GED Test Services Director, Latanya Overby at 404.679.4959.

More Information:

Text “My GED” to 70700” is featured on each commercial. When a prospective

student sends a text to 70700, they receive a text message requesting their zip code. When they reply with their zip code, they receive a text message with the contact information to their local adult education program and a prompt asking if they would like to call the program or have the program call them.

Recruitment Videos: Additional Videos

Additional videos with inspiring stories of adult education success can be found across a multitude of other websites.  These videos can be incorporated into presentations, played at community meetings, school functions, etc.  These videos demonstrate how improved literacy can make the difference in a person’s life and in the lives of their families.


Here are just a few:


Literacy Action Student Stories


Literacy For All Success Stories


ProLiteracy Media Kit


ProLiteracy Adult Literacy Facts


Malcolm Mitchell 

The story of a football and literacy hero


TCSG Eagle Award Winner

Eagle Awards recognize individuals who have committed to changing their lives and who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in their adult education classes.

Recruitment Billboards

Recruitment Billboards

The following billboard designs can be used in vinyl or digital format. The billboards promote completion of the GED test to improve career opportunities and encourage students to text 70700 to receive more information about local adult literacy classes.

How to Use:

The design of these billboards can be utilized as a vinyl or digital billboard.


To request use of the billboards, please contact the Office of Adult Education’s GED Test Services Director, Latanya Overby at 404.679.4959.

More Information:

Groups can utilize the designs for free, but they will need to cover the cost to rent billboards in their communities. Sometimes underutilized billboard space will be donated to efforts such as this.

“Text 70700” is featured on each billboard. When a prospective student sends a text to 70700, they receive a text message requesting their zip code. When they reply with their zip code, they receive a text message with the contact information to their local adult education program and a prompt asking if they would like to call the program or have the program call them.

Billboard Examples

Reaching Students: Multigen

Reaching Students through 

Multigenerational Approaches

Adults are motivated to improve literacy skills for their children’s sake.  Some of the most successful strategies for reaching and engaging adults in literacy programs include working with them either while their child is being taught (during summer and after school programs) or encouraging them to participate with their child in those same programs.  There are numerous creative examples of these types of programs.


  • Communities In Schools, Milledgeville-Baldwin Co., has partnerships throughout the community including the Central Georgia Technical College, Georgia College & State University, Certified Literate Community Program, the school system, Georgia Family Connection Partnerships, libraries, Head Start, etc., to increase access to family literacy resources for both adults and children. The program has a Family Literacy Director who works with families to address their literacy needs and wrap-around services.  For more information contact Sandy Baxter or Mindee Adamson


  • United Way of Central Georgia is working with WIC and their local housing authorities to support family literacy and early language development. They also hold parenting workshops and have a book partnership with Ferst Readers.  Contact?


  • Georgia Department of Corrections provides books to inmates to read with their visiting children.  Contact Melinda Dennis, GaDOC,


  • Lee County Family Connection, in partnership with the Lee County School System, Lee County Chamber of Commerce, Lee County Library and Lee County Retired Educators, works collaboratively as Literate Lee - a Get Georgia Reading Campaign Team.  The current program is part of the Family Engagement Academy.  These organizations work with families who are part of the Backpack Blessings Program which provides weekend nutritional support to economically disadvantaged children K-5.  These organizations will host programs throughout the year. At each program, participants eat dinner together in a family setting.  After dinner, the programs vary. 


The library has hosted a "Scavenger Hunt at the Library," "Acting Up," "Fall Festival Family Literacy Night," "Healthy Meal/Healthy Budget," "Paws Patrol Reading Night," "Math Mania," and "Family Talent Night."  In all of these programs, the entire family works together. This multigenerational approach allows families to build strong bonds with each other and with other families in the program.  Programs are open to all who live in the household - children, parents, grandparents, etc.  All programs focus on literacy, and the main goal for the first year was to build trust with the families, and so far programs have been very well attended.  For more information, please contact Patsy Shirley at


  • Albany Family Literacy Connection takes a unique multi-generational approach to literacy. Each day finds parents working toward a GED and their pre-school children in the same facility.  The family is supported with Parents as Teachers home visits, as well as, monthly parent support meetings and Parent and Child Together Activities. Community partners share their expertise in daily parenting classes focusing on topics that will lead to family stability and self-sufficiency.  Families are connected to community resources to remove barriers that prevent program participation. For more information contact Cheryl Vinson or Sandy Bamford at, 229-638-2104.

  • LaAmistad provides a volunteer-led afterschool program that encompasses tutoring and mentoring. They work to improve the academic performance and individual educational needs of each child. Educational support is also supplemented by summer enrichment programs and opportunities that provide students with career, cultural and life experiences. LaAmistad also offers counseling and family support services to students and families.


LaAmistad deems parent education just as important as student education. Parents must be equally committed to their student’s education and must pledge to ensure their student graduates from high school. Their ongoing parent workshops provide parents with the tools and skills necessary to help their student achieve success both at home and at school. LaAmistad’s 10-week English for Successful Living program offers adult opportunities to learn English. Parents of LaAmistad are also invited to participate in civic engagement opportunities that allow them to establish support groups and a strong community network.


Lastly, LaAmistad currently partners with churches and religious institutions to provide the students with a safe environment to learn and grow. LaAmistad builds students and families to have strong minds, bodies, and character.


LaAmistad believes that engaging students, families and caregivers together as a cohesive unit establishes a support system where every student is given the opportunity to succeed and thrive academically, physically and personally.

Motivating Adult Learners

Motivating Adult Learners

Motivating adults to attend adult education courses is one of the biggest challenges.  Below are some suggested practices for motivating adults to attend:

  • Market programs to adult learners as a way to help their children read.  This has proven to be much more effective than marketing the benefits to the adults themselves as many adults feel it is a luxury to spend time on their own self-enrichment and/or do not identify themselves as needing literacy help.

  • Provide incentives to participate (e.g., awards for full attendance, grocery cards or other gift cards)

  • Go door to door in public housing and other lower income communities and talk with residents about the benefits of having a GED (e.g., higher pay, better job, ability to help children with homework and most importantly a path to self-sufficiency).  Keep in mind that building trust is critical to success.

  • For adults in public housing, consider waiving the eight-hour community service requirement for residents who are attending GED courses. Make transportation a non-issue by providing transportation to and from courses, providing GED courses online (with broadband/internet access) or providing classes at housing community or places of employment.  Faith-based organizations may be willing to provide transportation. In other communities Head Start busses have been used for adult transportation once the children have been dropped off and picked up at their program.

  • Offer childcare as this is a large obstacle for many parents.

  • Provide meals for families, children and/or adults as an attractor for programs.

Example Programs

Central Georgia Technical College’s (CGTC) Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) on its Macon campus provides a three-year-old preschool childcare program to children of students enrolled at CGTC. The newly renovated space provides opportunities for up to 20 children to grow, learn, and play in a Quality Rated program. Children must be three at the time of enrollment and can participate in the preschool program at any point in the year as long as they meet the age requirement. This opportunity is made possible through a Quality Rated Subsidy Grant (See Appendix A for more information).​

Quality Care for Children (QCC) provides low-income college student parents with child

care scholarships through its Boost: Making College Possible program. Boost is a two-generation approach to breaking the cycle of generational poverty: parents, confident their children are well cared for, can complete their postsecondary education, while infants and young children reap the lifelong benefits of high-quality early care and learning. QCC is implementing this program in partnership with four Georgia universities: Clayton State, Columbus State, Savannah State, and Georgia Southern - Savannah.

To motivate residents to participate in these programs, Northwest Georgia Housing Authority has developed the following incentives:

  1. Waive eight hours per month of HUD required community service for adults pursuing their GED.

  2. For residents who are pursuing a GED, their children can attend Northwest Georgia Housing Authority’s Montessori school free of charge.  Transportation is included with parents riding the bus to and from the Montessori school with their children and to and from the GED Program.  

  3. Residents who are unemployed and/or not attending school, able to work, must attend a “Life Skills” program aimed at helping residents work towards finding employment (policy was approved by NWGHA’s Board of Commissioners); residents who do not have a high school diploma or GED are referred to the GED Program.   


For more information, contact the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority.


Winder Housing Authority Family Self-Sufficiency Program

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a program established to promote economic self-sufficiency among Winder Housing Authority families.  The Head of Household who volunteers to participate is orientated, evaluated and is offered a Contract of Participation with the Winder Housing Authority.  This contract is designed to meet the family’s needs for services.  It also specifies the goals and objectives which the family must fulfill during the contract term.  The goals and objectives are based on mutual agreement.  Certain goals are mandatory.  The FSS program offers a financial incentive to families through the establishment of an escrow account which becomes available to the family upon successful completion of the Contract of Participation.

USDA Food and Nutrition Service’ Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.  USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program plays a vital role in improving the quality of day care and making it more affordable for many low-income families. Each day, 3.3 million children receive nutritious meals and snacks through CACFP. The program also provides meals and snacks to 120,000 adults who receive care in nonresidential adult day care centers. CACFP reaches even further to provide meals to children residing in emergency shelters, and snacks and suppers to youths participating in eligible afterschool care programs.

Resources for Enrollment

Resources for Enrollment

Provided by TCSG.

Adult Literacy classes are FREE.


Adult Literacy classes include:

  1. Reading & Writing  

  2. Math

  3. GED Test Preparation

  4. Citizenship Classes

  5. Job readiness Programs

  6. Digital Literacy 

  7. Health Literacy 

  8. Family Literacy 

Did you
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Finding FREE local classes is just a phone call away:


Office of Adult Education



Literacy Action



Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP)



GA Family Connection Partnership



United Way 2-1-1


National Literacy Directory



State Library System

Contact your local library






Text “MyGED” to 70700

How do I find classes?
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Every literacy system is different.


Most programs will have students take an assessment.  Students should not worry.  This just helps teachers place them in the correct class.

Students can go to their local adult literacy center. 

Programs will have attendance requirements.


Programs will be free. If students are interested in taking the GED, most programs have access to GED scholarships.


Many programs can connect students to resources and help with transportation or childcare issues.


Significant progress requires 100+ hours of attendance.

What to
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Informing Communities

Informing Communities
  • Start by reaching out to local adult literacy groups to learn more about local adult literacy needs. 

  • Gather local data from Certified Literate Community Program, Get Georgia Reading Campaign, Georgia Family Connection Partnership.

  • Customize presentations to reflect local adult literacy issues.

  • Visit local civic organizations and give presentations about local adult literacy issues and suggest ways the community can get involved.



  • Host events to inform community members about adult literacy programs in the community. Connect community members who have an interest in supporting adult literacy programs.



  • Create a community list-serv or mailing list to keep prospective volunteers informed.  Connect with the local Georgia Retired Educators Association. 

Build a


Resources for Informing Communities


Included in this e-Source are current examples of presentations given to inform communities about how adult literacy impacts the state. These presentations can be given to a variety of audiences.  The presentations are available online and most can be downloaded and edited/ customized.


How to Use: 

  • Contact local or state CLCP offices to learn more about local literacy issues.

  • Determine your community’s literacy status.  Go to (GOSA/GGR) website to learn third grade reading proficiency, 8th grade reading proficiency and high school graduation rate. 

  • Create or modify a presentation for the local context. 

  • Present at local meetings to raise awareness about adult education.

  • Work with your community to determine objectives and how you will measure success. 

Presentation Links

Additional presentation material can be found on the ProLiteracy Resource Page

Media Outreach e-Source

Guidelines for meeting with your local newspaper editorial board and pitching newspaper columnists to write about Adult Basic Education, guidelines for writing and submitting opinion (op-ed) pieces to your local newspaper or online news outlet, tips for pitching success stories, guidelines for drafting an effective press release, fact sheet templates.


Advocating for Change

Advocating for Change
  • Identify funding or policy changes needed in your community.  Talk with your local and state legislators/members of Congress (if a federal issue) about your community’s needs.

  • Identify other organizations that may have similar advocacy needs.  Reach out to Literacy For All, the director(s) of Certified Literacy Community Programs and others to plan an advocacy agenda.

  • Always discuss your needs with your local legislators/member of Congress (if a federal issue).  Discuss your issues with key state legislators (chairs of the House and Senate Education and Higher Education Committees, chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees (if funding is needed).

Resources for Literacy Day

Resources for Literacy Day

September 8th is annually designated to be Literacy Day by the Governor of Georgia. This is a great opportunity to reach out to local government officials to have a local proclamation made for Literacy Day. In doing so, local officials and the community will be made aware of local and statewide literacy initiatives.

How to Use:​​

  • Reach out to the Certified Literate Community Program in August to be added to the distribution list for the Governor’s Proclamation.

  • Contact local officials to setup an appointment to discuss the proclamation to be made on Sept. 8 or at a local government meeting in early September. 

  • 2017 Adult Education and Family Literacy Week Proclamation

  • Link to template press release

Letter-Writing Campaigns

Resources for Letter-Writing Campaigns

Letter writing campaigns are great ways for adult literacy students to advocate for the programs that are helping them. Letter-writing campaigns are often organized through local nonprofits, such as CLCPs. Students and teachers are asked to write letters thanking state legislatures and other government officials for their support of adult education and to encourage them to continue to support adult literacy.



Appendix A: Additional Resources for Adult Education 


For a list of all adult education programs supported by TCSG, click here.

For additional Adult Education resources, see the Literacy Action Resource Page.

For Goodwill workforce development programs, look up your local Goodwill and/or find training programs here

For Atlanta Regional Commission workforce development programs click here.

For workforce development providers and services in 10 Atlanta metro counties, see MAX portal.

For information about the Quality Rated Subsidy Grant, click here.


Appendix B: Job Training Programs That Work (Atlanta CareerRise)

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