Providing strategies for Iowa's school leaders
Thursday, May 30, 2013

With the English Language Learner population quickly increasing in many school districts within the state, University of Iowa College of Education Assistant Professor Liz Hollingworth recognized the need for school leaders to effectively learn and adapt to the changes in student populations. To help meet that need, Hollingworth developed the first Social Advocacy Summit, a unique opportunity for Iowa’s school leaders on Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2.

Portrait of Dr. Liz Hollingworth
Liz Hollingworth

“The goal is to provide educators the opportunity to learn, collaborate, and share experiences and strategies with peers regarding English Language Learners,” Hollingworth says. “Participants will have the unique experience to meet in facilitated breakout sessions with their colleagues from across the state who are also working through the same challenges of bilingualism and the increasing diversity in their K-12 student populations in order to ensure success for all students.”

The two-day workshop will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m Saturday, June 1, and from 8:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2, in the Lindquist Center’s Jones Commons, Room N301 on the UI campus. The institute will start June 1 with a welcome from Hollingworth and College of Education Interim Dean Nicholas Colangelo.

The summit will include presentations, a panel discussion, examination of news articles and literature, and opportunities for peer collaboration. Summit presenters include, Byron Darnall and Jobi Lawrence from the Iowa State Department of Education; UI College of Education Assistant Professor Lia Plakans; Drake University’s Shelley Fairbairn and Lynda Brown; Patrick Winn with Catholic Charities of Rockford Diocese’s Refugee Resettlement Program; and Jeff Maeder, principal at Columbus High School.

Those attending will come from the following communities: Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, West Liberty, Columbus Junction, Midland, Bettendorf, and Muscatine.

Hollingworth says she hopes the Social Advocacy Summit will occur every two years and will offer a variety of themes for school leaders across Iowa.

Media are welcome and encouraged to attend the summit. For more information and to view a schedule, visit To follow along with the summit via Twitter, follow #UIEdSummit.