Reminder: August 5th Discussion with Sierra Stoneman-Bell. Post your questions now!

Hello Integrating Technology Colleagues,

This is a reminder that you are invited to a one-day asynchronous discussion on Wednesday, August 5th with Sierra Stoneman-Bell, the author of The Impact of COVID-19 on NYC Adult Literacy Programs and Students

The summary findings section is short. You can read it in under 10 minutes. Please do! Then join us on Wednesday for this discussion. I'll start the thread today so you can post questions for Sierra now if you wish.

This report is based on findings from a survey Sierra and her colleagues conducted in May, 2020 of adult basic skills education program staff in New York City. It outlines the effects of the pandemic on programs and students, the emergency transition to remote learning, key barriers and needed supports, and the outlook for the field as the pandemic continues. Adult students are struggling with job and income loss, homeschooling, food and housing insecurity, caring for family members, and risks as essential workers – and these issues are exacerbated by limited reading, writing, English language, and/or digital literacy skills. Lack of access to hardware and reliable internet is a major barrier to remote education. If addressed, programs see opportunities to incorporate remote learning to serve more students at a time of increased need and demand. Staff need more training and support, and programs need sustained public funding with flexibility to adapt to the new reality.

You can read the report at

Sierra Stoneman-Bell is Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Literacy Assistance Center (LAC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting adult education in New York. Sierra began at the LAC in 2016 as the project lead for the Investing in Quality project and then for the Literacy & Justice Initiative. Prior to this, Sierra directed the adult education and workforce programs at Make the Road New York (MRNY), as part of a larger strategy to build the power of working class and immigrant communities through organizing, policy innovation, education, and survival services. Before joining MRNY, Sierra was Co-Director of Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, where she led advocacy campaigns at city and state levels for public policies that support adult education, school-community partnerships, and youth opportunities. Sierra also worked as Associate Director of the Institute for Urban Education at The New School and as a senior staff member at Youth Action Programs and Homes in East Harlem, where she continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Sierra holds an M.S. in Urban Policy from Milano/The New School and a B.A. from Brown University.

The Literacy Assistance Center (LAC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening and expanding the adult education system, and to advancing adult literacy as a core value in our society and a foundation for equal opportunity and social justice. Since 1983, the LAC has been providing training and technical assistance to build the capacity of the basic education, high school equivalency, and English language programs that serve New York’s most educationally disadvantaged adults. Currently, the LAC provides professional development, technical assistance, and data management and support to over 200 adult literacy programs funded by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED). In 2019, the LAC launched the Literacy & Justice Initiative, a new project to advance adult literacy education as a part of a broader vision and movement for racial, social and economic justice.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology Group