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Greetings fellow IAACE members!
November has proven to be a very eventful and historic month for the year 2020! The election, virtual teaching/learning, and spikes in COVID cases have taken the limelight in newsfeeds.  Despite the events, I ponder a quote by John F. Kennedy, “We must find the time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” With that being said, I would like to thank each one of you for making a difference in SO many lives!!!! I am so thankful for the teacher who spends endless hours planning the most engaging Zoom meeting and striving to keep his/her students on track.  I am thankful for the directors who support their teachers and students by providing resources to encourage success on all levels. I am thankful for the students for stepping out of their comfort zone to learn in a non-traditional manner as they are encumbered with daily barriers of learning.  I also give thanks for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Without their support and guidance, adult education would not be what it is in Indiana. Finally, I am thankful for the amazing individuals who serve on the IAACE board of directors and Jennifer Wigginton. These individuals serve endless hours behind the scenes to ensure a successful conference and continue advocacy for adult education in Indiana.


     Just a few reminders about upcoming dates. November 15 was the opening day for accepting proposals. PLEASE submit your proposals!!! I know there are new teaching strategies and methods within each of your toolboxes! Please share these with your fellow educators. With that being said, did you know that November 20 is Absurdity Day? Take the opportunity to do something crazy. Well, maybe not too crazy. However, extend this thought into your classroom. Think outside the box!!!

     Once again, I would like to wish everyone a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving! As Anne Frank quoted, “No one has ever become poor by giving”, I know that each of you are extraordinarily rich in every aspect of your lives. Thank you for all that you do!


      Laura Smart

      IAACE president

“Thanksgiving is the time of year of celebration and spending time with family.  I am grateful for the fond memories celebrating with my family at my grandmother’s house getting to play with my cousins, eat, and listening to stories about my parents when they were growing up.” Ted P.
“This time of year always stirs up feelings of gratitude and appreciation of family and friends both near and far, old and new. This year during all of the unchartered waters we have had to travel and many trials and tribulations we have experienced, I am extremely grateful for the health and wellbeing of all of my family, friends and colleagues. I want to send prayers of strength, understanding, comfort and happiness filled with love to help all of us face the challenge of 2021.”  Cynthia W.
“Growing up in rural northern Indiana, we would all pack into my Grandmother’s small house with 30+ cousins, aunts, uncles, and my immediate family.  There would be a kitchen full of food and pop up tables throughout the house to accommodate all of the extended family.  The younger generation would then congregate in the kitchen to wash dishes and divvy up the extra food.  It was as great way to spend Thanksgiving growing up with lots of family, food, and catching up.” Lara P.
“My (now) husband and I went out 3 times and he asked me to marry him.  Love at first sight!  We did not think that our families would be too crazy about hearing of our engagement after 3 dates, so we decided to keep it quiet for awhile, to give them time to get used to the idea!  Our first holiday (keeping the engagement secret) was Thanksgiving.  We ate lunch with his family, where there was a very quiet, dignified gathering of 5 people, including me.  We left there and went to my family’s celebration for dinner, where there were 110 people, and 20 of those were under the age of 5.  This is our normal Thanksgiving!  The noise is CRAZY, and sometimes you count yourselves lucky to get silverware!!  After the departure of most of the family, I turned to him and said (jokingly!) “Well, no one knows of our engagement!  There is still time to change your mind!”  Thankfully he did not, and he LOVES the chaos and noise of family!  35 years later and my wonderful husband and I are still as happy as clams!  Thanksgiving and having the family together is very special for us!” Lisa C.
“I come from a very large family; I have six siblings and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Thanksgiving was always the beginning of the crazy holiday period. Family and friends from everywhere would show up, and there were times when my parents’ home was so crammed with people, we spilled out into the yard, garage and everywhere.
I now have my own large family: I have four children, their significant others and five perfect grandchildren. Thanksgiving at my home is usually a crowded, chaotic mess with food everywhere, people laughing, singing, wrestling and playing games. I love my family, and I love my old-fashioned, traditional Thanksgiving. I am grateful for the love and security of my family. Especially this year, family is important.” Konnie M.
“Thanksgiving is always a celebration of a successful harvest in my family since my husband and I come from a long line of row-crop farmers. We don’t sit down to our family feast until the final crop is out of the field so some years it comes later than others. This year we are blessed to be sitting down on Thanksgiving Day to turkey and all the trimmings prepared from the recipes passed down through generations along with a CAN OF CRANBERRY SAUCE; the added tradition of this generation;-) ” Karen H.
“Traditionally my family travels a 3-hour trip to my older brother’s home in Mt. Carmel, IL and have Thanksgiving with my entire extended family which consists of my parents, my 3 brothers, their children and their grandchildren.  The family has grown over the years and changed but it is great to see everyone.  My sister-in-law, Sharon, makes a tremendous amount of traditional Thanksgiving food.    My favorite thing in the world is her pecan pie!   Early on, we would take food and just bring most of it back home as there was so much that nobody ate much of what I brought.  So about 3 years ago, I just started a new tradition which consisted of not taking any food, LOL. Before you judge me, I replaced it with taking my sister-in-law a nice hostess gift such as Christmas decorations, fluffy towels, or something different each year.  Thanksgiving is a great holiday.” Mike T.
“We gather at my sister’s house—mom, dad, 2 sisters, 2 friends of our family, and myself—for Thanksgiving dinner in the early evening.  Two of my favorite food items are my mom’s stuffing and giblet gravy.” Rob M.
“Normally we get our whole family together and share dishes and visit and eat. This year since that can’t happen, we are going to play a Zoom Digital escape room, mixing up competitive teams.”  Sheila B.
“Tradition runs for as long as I can remember that we go to my Uncle Butch and Aunt Diane’s for Thanksgiving. We are a pretty big family, usually anywhere from 40-70 show up. We’ve also had guests from all over the world from exchange students to adopted souls. We eat like kings and queens with everyone bringing a contribution to the turkey, ham, dressing, and mashed potatoes that my Aunt makes. We watch football, talk and play games. Mafia is the traditional one for the last few years. I get chosen to be the narrator every year. The young ones enjoy my messed up stories of how the mafia kills them. The stories are always weird and kid’s ears approved. Life is short and spending this quality time with the family brings joy to my heart every year.” Jenn W.  (Click here for mafia game instructions.)
“Our whole family saddles up and we go for a long trail ride. We remember trips we have taken together and are thankful for growing up in the great outdoors.” Laura E.
“I don’t come from a large family, so we never had large Thanksgiving gatherings.  Because of that, we did not have a lot of traditions, either.  We would enjoy our dinner, the football games, and sometimes play some family board games together.  But, then came dessert.  Mom grew up on a farm, and she was the best at making desserts, whether it be pumpkin or pecan pies, or cakes, or cookies.
There is one dessert, however, that will always bring back wonderful feelings, and will always be a part of my family’s holiday traditions.  It is one that many are not aware of, and others misunderstand.  It was something passed down to my mom by her mom and by her family before her. It is one that has some history in England but was also found in the rural communities of America.  It Is called Suet Pudding.  Despite its name, it is really a type of a STEAMED cake that is made with suet (beef fat) combined with cinnamon, raisins, dates, etc. and a sweet brown sugar-based sauce.  It would be put in a steamer on the stove, and the sound of the tapping of the steam valve meant it must be Thanksgiving or Christmas- the only two times we had that dessert.
The second I say suet, people will automatically think it is going to taste nasty.  But the suet is what was used with the old recipes instead of shortening. This cake comes out moist. Topped with the sauce and some whipped cream, it becomes a sweet, decadent pleasure.
The great taste, the smell, the tap-tap-tapping of the steamer giving rise to the cake are the things that always bring back warm feelings of the holidays, of mom and dad, and of my brothers, all gathering to celebrate.  It is a tasty tradition that we continue today.” Tom M.
“Like most families, we always name something that we are thankful for before our Thanksgiving Dinner.  My long-passed father used to say, and I continue to my children/grandchildren, “Remember that poor people aren’t bad people, they’re just poor;  rich people aren’t good people, they’re just rich.  Respect everyone around you and be thankful.”

Now eat your Brussel Sprouts!  Even if you don’t like Brussel sprouts, you will like these!!
This makes 4-6 servings.  Be sure to double, quadruple, etc. for a large dinner!

Ingredients:  1 10-oz. pkg. frozen Brussel Sprouts (I use fresh and make ahead.  Make these early enough so you can cool them to cut in half; otherwise, they will burn your fingers!)
1 T. finely chopped onion

1 T. butter
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
dash of pepper
1/4 c. of milk
1/4 c. sour cream
1 2-oz. jar of diced pimientos

Directions: Cook Brussel sprouts. When done, cut sprouts in half.  On the stovetop, saute the onions in the butter until tender.  Stir in ingredients through the dash of pepper.  Gradually, add the milk.  Bring to a boil; cooking and stirring for 1 minute after the boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Add the sprouts to the sauce and heat.  Stir in sour cream and drained pimiento.  Serve.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Stay safe!” Karen C.

“My attitude of gratitude is being able to enjoy my kids spending Thanksgiving with me. It has been a tradition, ever since they were kids, to go hiking in the woods on my property or we visit a state park. At the end of the day, we have hot chocolate and play board games or just talk.” Laura S.
Organization Day for the 2021 Indiana General Assembly was November 17, 2021.  At this meeting, the General Assembly adopted its rules and established COVID operating procedures for the regular session that will begin in January.

In 2021, 19 new legislators will participate in their first General Assembly.  So we need to take advantage of this opportunity to educate our new legislators about adult education and workforce development.  Please look down this list of newly-elected legislators.  If you have a new legislator, please invite him or her to your program between now and December 31, 2020! 

House Republicans

  • Michelle Davis, Greenwood
  • John Jacob, Indianapolis
  • Chris Jeter, Fishers (already in office, but this will be his first session)
  • Cindy Ledbetter, Newburgh
  • Julie Olthoff, Crown Point
  • Zach Payne, Charlestown
  • Elizabeth Rowray, Yorktown
  • Hal Slager, Schererville
  • Craig Snow, Warsaw
  • Jake Teshka, South Bend
House Democrats 
  • Mike Andrade, Munster
  • Maureen Bauer, South Bend
  • Mitch Gore, Indianapolis
  • Blake Johnson, Indianapolis (already in office, but this will be his first session)
  • Renee Pack, Indianapolis
Senate Republicans 
  • Scott Baldwin, Noblesville
  • Kyle Walker, Indianapolis
Senate Democrats
  • Fady Qaddoura, Indianapolis
  • Shelli Yoder, Bloomington

Tell your new legislator things like:

  •  The number of students you serve and some overall demographics
  • The array of training and instructional programs you provide:  high school equivalency, high school diploma, English language learning, integrated education & training, workforce education initiative, NextLevelJobs, etc.
  • What you’re doing to meet students’ needs during the pandemic (e.g., distance learning)
  • Partnerships you have with employers, post-secondary institutions, and other community agencies.  Maybe have one or two partners with you when you meet with the new legislator.  (Employers—particularly important!)
  • Outcomes—especially in terms of credentials earned and employment

You can use these handy-dandy flyers and templates to create a take-away for the legislator to have.
Infographics at the middle of the page:

After the General Assembly convenes, it’s too late to educate them about what we do.  We need to educate them now!

Click here for IAACE Professional Development Replays
IAACE is collaborating with the Indiana Council for Continuing Education to host a webinar,  Adult Learning During COVID-19.  The panel will discuss barriers that adult learners face during COVID-19 from various practitioners’ experiences with them and so much more.

Met the panelists:

Ted Pearson

Director of Correctional Education

Oakland City University

Tania Curruchiche

Indiana Online Only English Language Learning Teacher

Monroe County Community Schools Adult Education

Dr. Stephanie Moran

Director of Engagement and  the Adult Student Experience

Anderson University

Dr. Ruby Cain

Associate Professor of Practice, Adult & Community Education

Director, M.A. Degree Programs in Adult & Community Education Program and in Executive Development for Public Service Program

Director, Graduate Certificates in Adult Education and in Community Education

Vice-President (Faculty), Black Faculty & Staff Association (BFSA)

Director, It Is Well With My Soul


Please join us on Wednesday, December 9, 11:00-11:30 am Eastern time.

Topics we plan for panelists to address:

  1. Who is the Adult Learner?  Each panelist describes the demographics of students served.
  2. Instructional delivery methods pre-COVID and during COVID.
  3. Challenges faced by students and instructors during COVID and support put in place.
  4. Impact of COVID-19 on special populations (e.g., English Language Learners, Vulnerable Populations, Parents with school-age children, etc.).
  5. Impact of COVID-19 on the employment of our students (i.e., those laid off/furloughed/hours reduced/pay cuts versus those still working, Essential Workers).
  6. Question and Answer (last 30 minutes)

All members of ICCE and IAACE are invited to participate, as well as others serving adult and continuing education students, register to attend at

2021 IAACE Conference Call for Proposals

Will you help?

Presenting is not for everyone, even in the adult education field.  We have learned that we do love to learn from each other!  Will you help potential presenters develop the sessions that you want?  Please take a couple of minutes to share your thoughts and ideas at!  You can make a difference!

Click here to complete a survey

This year’s conference will be held on April 28-30, 2021. Our theme is Connect Four- Partners, Educators, Employers and Providers. We encourage you to implement aspects of the theme into your presentations.  We need creative ideas and strategies for teachers, administrators, life coaches, and support staff.  If you are interested in helping build our future by presenting at the annual IAACE conference in Michigan City, Indiana, please submit the following proposal by January 15, 2021 at
Jennifer Wigginton
Executive Director
Co-Chair Conference 2021
Sheila Butler
Co-Chair Conference 2021
Indiana Association for Adult and Continuing Education
9801 Fall Creek Rd. #151 Indianapolis, IN 46256

We love our members!

You Can Save on Zoom Licenses

IAACE joined the ProLiteracy Zoom Program and you can too!
And so can tutors!  To purchase the discounted Zoom licenses you just need to provide their program’s (or IAACE’s) ProLiteracy member ID when they sign up.

We save money. Tutors save money. Programs save money. Everybody’s happy.

Click the graphic or here for more details and if you need to use the IAACE Pro Literacy member number, email Jenn.

Announcement of the ILA Board Meeting.

The Indiana Literacy Association Board of Directors is meeting on Monday, December 14, at 4:00 pm EDT/3:00 pm CDT via Zoom.  If you are interested in attending or have an interest in serving on the Literacy Committee, please email  We will invite you to attend the Zoom meeting and we will listen to your ideas and answer your questions.


IAACE 2020 award winners may be submitted to these awards, if you need assistance to complete, contact us.

Miss a Blog?

IAACE Member November Birthdays
You know who you are, Happy Birthday!

IAACE Member December Birthdays
Joanne Mijic 2nd
Happy Birthday to all the missing ones!

Please sign in and provide your birthday to be included in this newsletter and other things to come! The blog that requested birthdays was released on July 15.

Social Media Highlights #IAACE
Click here for Calendar of Events
Thanks for being a member and reading your newsletter.  If you have an idea for a future newsletter, join the communications committee. 
IAACE Membership Dues will increase to $55. on Feb. 1, 2021