Press Releases

Union County Student and Tutor Win State Awards

Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey (LVNJ), the umbrella organization over more than twenty literacy programs throughout the state, presented its “Award for Tutor Excellence” and “Award for Student Excellence” to individuals associated with Literacy Volunteers of Union County. The presentations were made at LVNJ’s 2012 Literacy for Life Conference on April 21 in West Windsor, NJ. Tutor Pat Thompson of Scotch Plains won the Award for Tutor Excellence and Anthony Pugliese of Kenilworth won the Award for Student Excellence.

“The fact that both a tutor and student from Literacy Volunteers of Union County received awards this year is a testimony to the Union County organization’s commitment to tutor and student support; to their investment in the success of those they serve and to the way they have built a learning community that allows their volunteers and students to reach their potential,” said Jessica Tomkins, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey. “We received many more nominations this year than in the past few years – the field was especially competitive,” said Tomkins.

Pat Thompson has been serving as a Literacy Volunteer tutor for ten years. A retired Newark High School teacher, Pat was able to combine her experience in the classroom with Literacy Volunteers of Union County’s goal-centered philosophy to become one of the most respected tutors in the network. “Inspirational, dynamic, passionate, smart, empathetic, courageous, selfless, energizing, funny, engaging, animated, resourceful and caring,” said Elizabeth Gloeggler, executive director when describing Thompson.

Sign Up for E-News

“During the past ten years Pat has given her sixteen students more than 700 hours of life-changing instruction.” She has also helped train more than 750 volunteer tutors since 2002. Thompson was also recognized for being a true innovator. She started a tutor apprenticeship program at Literacy Volunteers of Union County. “Over the years she worked with countless tutors mentoring them on their tutoring journey,” said Gloeggler. “She has always been the resident expert at integrating real-life materials into tutoring sessions.”

Anthony Pugliese was recognized for his significant accomplishments as a student in Literacy Volunteers of Union County’s Basic Skills Program and outspoken advocacy of the program. He turned to the organization nearly six years ago when he wanted to sit for his NJ boating license exam. After working with volunteer Susan Petrow of Westfield, Pugliese earned his boating license. He can now read a menu, supermarket and street signs, and enjoys checking out the magazines on the supermarket check-out lines.

“Anthony has made incredible progress, achieved many personal goals, and has gone above and beyond by becoming an advocate for the Literacy Volunteers program,” said Gloeggler. “He is eager to do what he can to support our program. He has become a true champion of literacy.” Pugliese’s writings have been published twice in the Literacy Volunteers of Union County’s student magazine. At one magazine roll-out event, he read his essay, “What Reading Means to Me” before an audience of more than 100 people. “He epitomizes all adults who struggle with reading and by sharing his personal story, he has motivated so many and let them know they are not alone,” said Gloeggler.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Family Continues ‘Summer of Kindness’ with Infant Clothing Drive

July 12, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield mom and teacher Sara Liptack is continuing her family’s “Summer of Kindess” with an infant clothing for Furniture Assist, an organization in Springfield that helps formerly homeless people, veterans, the elderly, fire victims, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence.

“I said, ‘What’s the one thing you really ...

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

State-Imposed Affordable Housing Requirements Will Lead to Overdevelopment in Scotch Plains

July 17, 2018

Dear Editor:

There will be a public hearing in Trenton concerning the affordable housing process on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the State House Annex (131-137 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608) in Committee Room 16 on the 4th floor.

This hearing is hosted by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, and the Committee will receive ...

When to Dial 911: Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month

July 10, 2018

There are many times you should call 911. If you or someone around you is in true medical distress, such as experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, bleeding, possible stroke, or any other serious health issues, then 911 should be called as soon as possible. If there are wires down, fire, a crime in progress, or other dangerous conditions to people or property, call 911 ...

Caring Contact Volunteer Listener Training Fall 2018

July 18, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ -- Have you ever been told you are a good listener? Do you have a yearning to really make a difference? Become a Caring and Crisis Hotline Listener.

You could save a life.

Volunteers receive 52 hours of comprehensive training in active listening, Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.  You also are supported by ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, July 23, 8:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

View the Night Sky at the Scotch Plains Public ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Wed, July 25, 6:00 PM

JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains

The JCC’s Barracudas Swim Team Meet the Coaches ...



Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM


Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza