Union County – More than 100 adult students, tutors, friends and supporters of Literacy Volunteers of Union County gathered in celebration at the roll-out of “Connections Student Art and Literary Magazine” on June 6 in Westfield, NJ. Freeholders Alexander Mirabella and Bette Jane Kowalski were on hand for the festivities.
“Our annual Magazine Event is a wonderful way to recognize the tremendous growth and accomplishments of our Basic Skills and ESL students who come from towns throughout the county, while also recognizing the dedicated, empathetic volunteer tutors who help make these accomplishments possible,” said Elizabeth Gloeggler, executive director.
Literacy Volunteers of Union County, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, matches trained volunteer tutors with adult students struggling to read, write, and speak English. More than 200 tutors donate their time and energy to helping students improve their lives through enhanced literacy.
“It is tremendously moving and inspiring when our students step up to the podium in front of more than 100 people and read their writing,” said Gloeggler. “The development of literacy skills is not just about the ability to read, but also the potential to have a voice and share one’s story. The readings are the most anticipated part of the program as students demonstrate how literacy changes lives.”
Literacy Volunteers of Union County’s “Connections Magazine” showcases students’ individual talents in the form of original stories, poems and artwork. Made possible through the generosity of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders’ HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant, Westfield Service League and Fanwood-Scotch Plains Service League, this year’s publication included the work of nearly forty students. The magazine also included a special dedication to veteran tutor and trainer Pat Thompson of Scotch Plains.