Literacy Volunteers of Union County is pleased to announce that thirty-one volunteer tutors were graduated from the non-profit group’s Tutor Training Program in February. These newly trained tutors have already been matched with more than three dozen men and women throughout the county who are struggling to read, write and speak English.

The 25-year-old non-profit organization is dedicated to improving the lives of functionally illiterate adults throughout central New Jersey by teaching them to read, write and speak English so they can participate more fully in family, workplace and community life.

“We are thrilled to welcome this newest group of trained tutors to Literacy Volunteers of Union County,” said Elizabeth Gloeggler, executive director. “More than 200 dedicated and compassionate women and men currently volunteer their time through our organization helping functionally illiterate adults throughout our county.” Graduates of the Winter Literacy Volunteer Tutor Training Program include:

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Westfield residents: Julie Allen, Kim Barnes-Allen, Peggy Cohen, Genie Einstein, Audrey Hale, Linda Mehling, Brittany Murray, David Owens, Abbie Schnitzer, Shari Seltzer, Richard Snyder, and Ellen Wieting

Cranford residents: Dianne Osaben and Lucia Schneck

Plainfield residents: Sandra Harrison, Najlaa Hasan, and Barbara Rodriguez

Scotch Plains residents: Lisa Lange, Jackie Pardon, and Mary Shea

Union residents: Luis Cordero and Elvira Morillo

South Plainfield residents: Suzanne Vineyard and Nora Rodriguez

Valerie Garay of Watchung;

Maria Lichtenstein of Fanwood;

Carolina Marin of Linden;

Elizabete Pata of Roselle;

Maddie Shaw of Somerville;

Marie Soyka of Clark;

and Johanna Van Horne of Rahway

Literacy Volunteers of Union County’s 15-hour Volunteer Training Program provides participants with the skills to teach listening, speaking, reading and writing; design a lesson plan, and all the basics to get started. Upon completing the training, graduates are certified to teach English as a Second Language or Basic Literacy to adults. On-going support, supervision and training is provided for all tutor-student matches. With more than 25% of adults in Union County unable to read the back of a medicine bottle, fill out a job application or interact with their children’s teachers, illiteracy is a devastating problem, impacting all areas of our society. It lies at the root of many social problems including poverty, crime, unemployment, poor parenting, welfare dependency and homelessness.

The Spring 2012 Volunteer Tutor Training Program will take place at the Cranford Community Center, located at 220 Walnut Avenue in Cranford. The six-part training runs Mondays and Wednesdays, April 16, 18, 23, 25, 30 and May 2. The training is scheduled from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. Attendance is required at all sessions to become a certified tutor of both Basic Reading Skills and English as a Second Language. There is a $40 non-refundable registration fee to cover the cost of materials distributed to new volunteers at the workshop. Need based scholarships are available to cover the cost of registration to qualifying individuals. For more information about Literacy Volunteers, you may call 908-755-7998 or visit the website at