#b#Support Literacy#/b#

Did you know that 1 in 7 New Jersey residents has a reading level below 4th grade? Over 1 million NJ adults lack the literacy skills necessary to fill out forms, add numbers for a bank deposit slip, or read a medicine label. More than 2 million residents speak a language other than English at home. Further, over 1 million adults in our state over the age of 25 do not have a high school diploma. Literacy NJ is working hard to change those statistics. In fact, New Jersey’s adult education system relies on LNJ’s programs, mostly based on tutorials, to improve the basic skills of adults not ready for regular classroom instruction.

The success of literacy programs is provable: 1.1 million Americans enrolled in literacy programs in a recent survey reached fully functional literacy within three years. Literacy tutoring helps new immigrants and Americans who had an interrupted school history or learning challenges achieve their full potential — and helps give them regular employment, access to training programs, promotion possibilities, and full participation in our democratic processes.

Want to learn more? Please join us! Literacy NJ-Mercer will have a recognition brunch to honor its tutors and students on Saturday, October 8, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Hamilton Library. Contribute to this potluck with a dish, meet our life-changing volunteers, and hear about the amazing progress of our hard-working students! You may want to become a volunteer yourself, and it’s easy. LNJ holds day and evening tutor training workshops throughout the year. Contact sbharda@literacynj.org to register for the training, the brunch, or both.

Susan Matson

Friends of Literacy Volunteer Board, LNJ-Mercer County

#b#‘Friendraiser’ Success#/b#

On September 25 Send Hunger Packing Princeton held its fourth annual “friendraiser.” The event was called “Fill the Bowls,” inspired by a national initiative known as Empty Bowls. Guests received a beautiful, handmade ceramic bowl created by artist Adam Welch.

Our guests received their bowls empty to symbolize the problem of food insecurity faced by so many of our neighbors in Princeton, and then filled their bowls with delicious food, generously donated by restaurants including Elements, Witherspoon Grill, Aurelio’s, Metro North, Olives, Princeton Soup and Sandwich, Momo Bakery, and Lilipies. Celebrity Chef Brian Duffy of Philadelphia, known for his role in TV’s Bar Rescue, gave a cooking demonstration.

Thank you to our friends and supporters. Together, we support food insecure families in our town. Together, we’ve been able to provide more than 63,000 supplemental weekend meals to children in Princeton schools during the past three years. And because of your support, we’re now able to expand our mission, boost our reach to more children and enhance the quality and quantities of food we provide. For more information, visit shupprinceton.org.

Wendy Regina-Vasquez

SHUPP Board, Princeton

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