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August 11, 2008

ISBE DELL e-Broadcast 2008.129 - The 2008 National Refugee and Immigrant Conference will be held in Chicago on September 25-26, 2008

Dear Educators:

This message is from the Division of English Language Learning at the Illinois State Board of Education.

The Illinois Department of Human Services, the Adult Learning Resource Center and the Illinois State Board of Education are sponsoring the 2008 National Refugee and Immigrant Conference: Issues and Innovations which will be held in Chicago on Thursday and Friday, September 25-26, 2008 at the Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza.

Last year 475 people from 33 states attended this national professional development event for educators, social service agency, health care and other professionals who work with refugee children and their families. This conference provides the opportunity to identify issues, emphasize best practices, and highlight innovations among educators and other groups assisting refugee and immigrant children and their families. The conference is appropriate for bilingual, ESL and general education teachers and administrators in districts with refugee and immigrant students.

The registration packet for the 2008 National Refugee and Immigrant Conference: Issues and Innovations is available on-line at The tentative agenda is also located at this link.

Workshops specifically of interest to PreK- 12 educators include:

  • developing dialogues among teachers of PreK-12th grade refugee students on best practices for integrating refugee children and their families into the American school system;

  • providing early intervention by serving refugee children in PreK programs;

  • educating teenage refugee students without any prior school experience or with broken schooling;

  • encouraging high school refugee students into career exploration and post-secondary education

  • Family Life Education topics including strengthening refugee and immigrant families and facilitating productive cultural adjustment

  • Information on the most recent groups of refugees being settled in Illinois

Special Keynote Presenters include:

  • Alex Kotlowitz, author of Never a City so Real, a book that celebrates the diversity and soul of Chicago
  • Heide Spruck Wrigley, senior researcher with LiteracyWork International, who has been intensely involved with immigrants and refugees and the challenges of language learning

Specific workshops will be posted online at in September.

For further information, contact Lynn Osheff: or 224.366.8632.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777