The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 21, 2013

ECC instructor presents at national conference


An Edgecombe Community College (ECC) instructor spoke at a recent national conference on adult literacy.
Varnell Kinnin, instructor of Basic Skills, presented during the U.S. Conference on Adult Literacy in Washington, D.C., held Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

“I was asked by Amy Girardi of Jobs for the Future in Boston to be a co-presenter,” Kinnin explained. “Ms. Girardi, a project manager at Jobs for the Future, is also part of the NASA Greenforce Initiative: Building a Diverse, Green Workforce.

ECC is a partner in the Greenforce Initiative, along with the National Council for Science and the Environment, Wayne County Community Colleges District in Michigan, and Wilbur Wright College in Illinois. The project engages faculty in strengthening STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) career education options that are available to adult learners.
Jobs for the Future partners with states, workforce boards, employers, community colleges, and adult education programs to transition graduates of adult literacy programs into job training programs.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to attend the conference and an honor to represent Edgecombe Community College,” Kinnin said.
“Ms. Girardi and I spoke on ‘Climate Change Science Literacy,’ and I provided the GED and adult literacy perspective. We had an hour and a half to present on what ECC has done to bridge GED students to STEM training and raise climate science literacy.
“There also was a discussion on using NASA tools and data in GED courses to increase awareness of STEM occupations and opportunities,” she added.
More than 500 individuals attended the conference, and more than 50 workshops were given over the three-day event.