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February 12, 2014
Reflecting on the Gulf Coast Literacy Conference . . .

In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and 

the Word was God. John 1:1


Literacy begins with teaching sounds, letters, voice intonation, and expression.  Using these skills, we begin to develop blended sounds--building words, and eventually composing sentences. As new volunteers, how do we begin to do what our heart calls us to do?   Where do we start?  Who can help us take this step?  Who has been here, yet made it to the other side?

These are the questions asked across Texas as communities and churches understand the need for literacy ministries and programs. How can individuals, ministries, and community programs get started and receive training, direction and encouragement?  The answer: through those who are doing it.  Those who were mentored become the mentors.  Those who received help and training become the givers and trainers.  

On February 1, 2014, at the 2nd Annual Gulf Coast Literacy Conference, I stood watching throngs of smiling and chattering attendees move from session to session. One thing became very clear: the important role of regional conferences in creating partnerships to open the door to new possibilities and opportunities, and to strengthen local literacy efforts.  This was a day of training by the best of the best educators, communicators, teachers, and directors.   This was a day that celebrated volunteers, connecting them to experts in their field and to cutting-edge information. It proved once again that when community and faith-based leaders partner together, they can deliver a conference that packs a powerful punch, at minimal cost for attendees.  



This year we welcomed many new ministry/program leaders, church staff and nonprofit partners.  We opened with national award winning Professor Maria Bazan-Myrick describing Houston Community College's success with ESL/GED students. During lunch we welcomed Dr. Julie Baker of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, who explained the blue print study being conducted to address the literacy crisis in Houston.

This is not the first conference like this.  The Metroplex Literacy Conference has been serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area for years. In the 1980s and 1990s the Baylor Literacy Missions Center sponsored numerous similar events across Texas. The conferences make an impact, I believe, because of God on High who pricks our hearts with compassion toward our fellow man, woman, and child. They succeed because of massive communication efforts by TCALL, and local church and community networks. They hit their mark because existing ministries and programs send their volunteers and staff members to lead and learn from one another.

I am blessed to be called to this work through no merit of my own, but as a rare gift of God . . . and I thank Him. I am humbly reminded of my ancestors who, centuries ago, ventured to these shores, and learned a new life and a new language--the very things I help others with in my ministry today. At this point in my life, God gave me this wonderful gift and just plopped it in my lap!  


Connie Anthony, FBC Conroe

Gulf Coast Literacy Conference Chairperson 

Upcoming TEX Trainings . . .

Click on the links below for training details and registration.

Basic Pronunciation for New Teachers of All Levels of Adult ESL Students:

Higher Level for New Teachers of All Levels of Adult ESL Students:

Join us next month . . .

When: Saturday, March 1, 2014
             Check-in: 8:30
             Sessions: 9:00am-4:00pm
Where:  Dallas Baptist University
Cost: $25 (Includes breakfast treats & lunch)

Conference tracks will include:

ABE . . . Citizenship . . . ESL . . . GED . . . Refugees . . .

Click here to register 

Lester Meriwether, Executive Director 
4802 Highway 377 S., Suite 14
Fort Worth, TX 76116
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Pam Moore, Editor   

Trivia Challenge 
1. The word chocolate is derived from the Mayan word xocolatl, or bitter water. Which holiday in the U.S. triggers the most chocolate sales during the week leading up to it:


a) Valentine's Day


b) Easter


c) Halloween


d) Christmas 

2. In the transition between which two presidents was hummus out and Tex-Mex in on the White House menu:


a) John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson


b) Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford


c) Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush


d) Bill Clinton and George W. Bush  

3. Sometimes an entire English sentence sounds like a basic expression in another language. Said quickly, the following sentence is an acceptable term for You are welcome in Japanese: 


a) Eat an egg yolk sometime.


b) Don't touch my mustache.


c) Put your feet up now.


d) Hey, come in a jiffy. 

Problem accessing  the answers? Reply to this email and we'll shoot them your way.  

These instructional links may help: 


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