The U.S. Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998 defines literacy as “An individual's ability to read, write, speak, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family, and in society.”  However, according to the National Adult Literacy Survey, approximately 44 million people in the United States cannot read well enough to fill out an application, read a food label or read a simple story to a child.

Peapack-Gladstone Bank feels we all have a role to play in ensuring those who need or wish to improve literacy skills have the opportunity to do so.  It is also important that individuals come to realize the value of literacy in their lives and recognize the benefits associated with having better skills to achieve their goals in society.

To promote the enjoyment and benefits of reading, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in coordination with the United Way of Northern New Jersey, is sponsoring a Reading Matters Book Drive running from April 1 through April 20.  Select branches will be accepting new and current, gently-used books for children, young adults and adults to be provided to local organizations and individuals in need who cannot afford the means to purchase their own literature.  Participating bank locations include:  Bernardsville, Bridgewater, Califon, Chatham, Chester, Chubb, Clinton, Far Hills, Gladstone, Green Village Road, Hillsborough, Mendham, Morristown, Pluckemin, Oldwick, Summit, Whitehouse and the Bank’s Headquarters in Bedminster. 

Let’s join together to support and promote literacy, starting right in our own communities.  Give a book.  Change a life!