Students' Success Stories
You name it - our amazing students have won awards in a wide variety of categories from first-place fiction and memoir writing in a New Jersey Association for Lifelong Learning writing contest to the Student Excellence Award from Literacy New Jersey. But the heart of what we do is a bit less glamorous yet still pretty fascinating. It’s about adults from all over the world who often navigate through lives consumed by working more than one job, childcare, and the problems of families that live thousands of miles away.
Some were professionals at home, among them doctors, lawyers, and engineers, who now hold factory jobs in the U.S. due to low English proficiency. Some never had the opportunity to attend school at all in their home countries and are not literate in any language. Despite very busy lives and incredible barriers, our students somehow manage to get to the library twice each week to learn a new language or improve their native English one, with little recognition or formal award. These adult students are also winners; many have vastly improved their lives by advancing their English literacy skills, and for that we are proud. Their lives are worth documenting. You can read some of their stories here.
Tutors' Success Stories
It’s difficult to place a label on the type of the men and women who have come through our doors and generously volunteer their time to help adults learn to speak, read, and write English. They comprise a diverse group, one that includes former Peace Corps volunteers, a tutor of Nepalese refugee children in India, a radio show host, Catholic nuns, a newspaper reporter, retired teachers and school principals, and working plumbers, electricians, and office assistants. They are dancers, musicians, poets, and artists who publicly display and sell their paintings, stain glass art and origami designs. The one thing they all seem to have in common is a desire to help people improve their lives by sharing the gift of literacy.
Theirs is not a one-day volunteer event. Our tutors enlist to help others for a minimum of one year and many, including some whose stories are included here, go well beyond the eight hours we ask of them each month. Over a year, a tutor can get to know a student pretty well and the bond they form is real. When one of our students learns to read to his or her children or communicate with a child’s teachers, finds a job, gets a promotion, obtains a driver’s license, becomes a U.S. citizen, registers to vote, or enrolls in a GED program, you can believe that one of our tutors is also celebrating. Read up on some very successful celebrants here.
Our success is measure by the accomplishments of our participants.
And the success of or participants it's only possible through the efforts of our volunteer tutors.
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”