LINDEN, NJ - Anita Alvarado of Linden will be honored for her efforts to advance adult literacy at Literacy NJ's annual conference on April 27i Literacy NJ -- which provides free adult literacy programs and U.S. citizenship classes in eight New Jersey counties -- wll present the award at its annual Literacy for Life Conference at The College of New Jersey in Ewing.

The event brings together 200 students, tutors, adult educators and board members from across the state for a day of professional development.

Anita came to Literacy NJ to improve her English so she could help her children with their homework, talk with their teachers, and read notes from the school. Originally from Ecuador, Anita received a degree from Universidad de Azuay in Business Administration and worked as a currency manager for a bank. 

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Anita came to Literacy NJ in March 2015. She studied with a tutor and attended conversation classes and quickly improved her English skills. The next year she offered to volunteer in the office making phone calls and helping out with assorted tasks. It quickly became clear that Anita was organized, dedicated, had a wonderful phone manner, and generally enjoyed being able to give back for the help she had received as a student. 

In September 2017, Anita joined the staff of Literacy NJ as an Administrative Assistant.  In this role Anita has exceled, providing students with comprehensive information about the program as well as developing ideas for improving and enhancing office practices. Having been through the program as a student, she brings a different perspective to the student intake process. On the practical side, she has used her organizational and technical skills to streamline the process and increase the number of students served. On the personal side, she understands students’ concerns and fears about the process and finds ways to welcome and reassure them each step of the way. When it comes to dealing with delicate or uncomfortable issues with students, she is the consummate diplomat.

As someone who has worked hard and made the most of opportunities available to her, her authenticity resonates with donors as much as it does with students. She has become an advocate and spokesperson for the organization.

Other honorees at the conference include: the 2019 Volunteer Excellence Award, which will be given to Elidema Mireles of LVA Cape Atlantic; Outstanding Affiliate, awarded to Literacy Volunteers of Pascack Valley, and the 2019 Student Excellence Award, given to Gloria Orjuela of LVA Essex & Passaic.

The Literacy for Life Conference features 22 workshops, including such topics as Fake News: Helping Students Find Credible News Sources, Using Free Technology to Increase Student Engagement, Making Math Second Nature, and presentations from Beyond Diversity, USCIS, and Taft Communications.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Registration costs $60 for tutors, trainers, staff and board members of Literacy NJ-affiliated programs; $100 for nonmembers; and $30 for students. To register, visit http//literacynj.org/literacy-life-conference-2019 or call 732-906-5456. Conference sponsors include Carpenter Contractor Trust, New Jersey Resources, Stark & Stark, Withum, OceanFirst Foundation, KML Regional Council of Carpenters, Maser Consulting, Middlesex County Democratic Organization, Taft Communications, and Wells Fargo. 

Literacy NJ's statewide network provides free instruction in reading, writing, math and speaking English to more than 5,700 adults each year throughout New Jersey. Founded in 1979, Literacy NJ and its affiliates engage, train and support 2,000 volunteers who offer these services, including one-to-one tutoring and classes in adult ESL, GED, and U.S. citizenship.

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