“Reading is the most important skill anyone can possess to improve quality of life,” said Elizabeth Gloeggler, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Union County. “It impacts all aspects of life. As we mark National Literacy Month, we want to draw attention to the tremendous need for literacy education throughout the county and the invaluable role our dedicated volunteers play in responding to this need.” For more than 24 years Literacy Volunteers of Union County has matched highly trained volunteer tutors with adults who want to learn to read, write and speak English so they can participate more fully in family, workplace and community life. The organization’s professional staff supervises the matches as students work toward achieving their goals. More than 25% of adults in Union County don’t have the reading ability to perform basic everyday functions. Currently, nearly 60,000 adults in Union County, ages 18 to 65, lack a high school diploma or equivalent and are more likely to be unemployed and in poverty. More than 75,000 of the immigrants in Union county are not proficient at speaking or reading English. “Individuals turn to Literacy Volunteers because they are unable to do the most basic things… read road signs as they drive a car, fill out an application for a job, read instructions on the job, read a prescription bottle, help their children with homework or simply read them a good night story,” said Gloeggler. Last year Literacy Volunteers of Union County provided 15,946 hours of instruction to nearly 600 students. The non-profit organization also provided comprehensive training and on-going support to more than 225 volunteer tutors. All tutoring is provided free of charge and is offered one-on-one or in small group sessions for adults 18 years old or older. The next volunteer training class will be held October 15, 22 and November 5, 2011 at the Linden Public Library. Interested individuals are invited to register at www.lvaunion.org Literacy Volunteers of Union County, a United Way agency, provides basic skills tutoring, English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) tutoring, GED test preparation classes and Citizenship classes. The organization is accredited by ProLiteracy, (www.proliteracy.org), a global organization that champions the power of literacy to improve the lives of adults and their families, communities, and societies. Through its accreditation process, ProLiteracy acknowledges Literacy Volunteers of Union County as a literacy organization that distinguish itself with superior professional leadership, effective programs, a committed governing board, and outstanding volunteer support. For more information, please call 908-755-7998 or visit www.lvaunion.org