Category Archives: Essex County

Ocean Co. Literacy Group Merges With “Literacy New Jersey”

Adults in New Jersey who cannot read a medicine bottle, menu or even a street sign are served by the statewide educational non-profit organization, “Literacy New Jersey”, which has announced a merger with six local literacy groups. To make the statewide organization Literacy New Jersey a stronger force in serving functionally illiterate adults throughout the state, the groups Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey, Literacy Volunteers of Mercer County, Literacy Volunteers of Burlington County, Literacy Programs of New Jersey, Literacy Volunteers of Union County, Literacy Volunteers of Ocean County, and Literacy Volunteers of Gloucester County have joined Literacy New Jersey as one network.


Volunteer tutors from Literacy New Jersey make it possible for adults – especially from underserved populations — to learn to read, write and speak English. Nearly 8,000 students received free services from Literacy New Jersey and their 21 affiliated programs in 2012-2013.


It is estimated that 17% of adults in New Jersey are low literate. Illiteracy is a devastating problem, which is at the root of many social problems, including poverty, crime, unemployment, poor parenting, welfare dependency and homelessness. Adults whose lack of reading, writing and speaking skills causes them to struggle to perform the daily tasks that native English speakers take for granted: reading to their children, ordering from a menu, completing job applications and filling out medical forms.


“Learning to read can make a dramatic difference in someone’s quality of life,” says Elizabeth Gloeggler, CEO, Literacy New Jersey. “We match our well-trained volunteer tutors with men and women who have no where else to turn.”


“We share Literacy New Jersey’s mission to provide meaningful assistance to people with a limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English,“ says Harold J. Wirths, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “Improved literacy means improved skills that help people to market themselves to employers, to become employed and to carry out their roles, not only as workers, but also as spouses, parents and active members of our community.”

Literacy New Jersey offers free GED Preparation Classes, Citizenship Classes (for new immigrants), and ESL conversation groups (to practice English speaking skills), along with the core Basic Skills and English-as-a-Second Language Programs. The Basic Skills Program helps adult students with learning disabilities or other significant challenges, and serves a population with limited educational options.

More than 2,500 men and women volunteer on a regular basis with Literacy New Jersey. They receive training on principles of adult education, teaching reading, lesson planning, teaching small groups, and motivation skills for tutors. Literacy New Jersey staff match tutors with adult students seeking help, ensuring quality service for the student and support for the volunteer tutor.

The new organization is headed up by Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gloeggler of Montvale, NJ; Chief Operating Officer Jessica Tomkins of Milltown NJ; Ocean County Executive Director Charlotte Fahey of Whiting, NJ; Gloucester County Executive Director Trudy Lawrence of Clementon, NJ; Burlington County Executive Director Sheri Churchill of Medford, NJ; Mercer County Executive Director Cheryl Kirton of Newtown, PA; and Middlesex County Program Coordinator Melissa Cohen of Highland Park, NJ.

Literacy New Jersey’s merger was supported by: The Community Foundation for NJ, Pro Bono Partnership, Lowenstein Sandler LLP, The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration, The Karma Foundation and The Support Center for Nonprofits.

About Literacy New Jersey

Founded in 1979 and funded by government grants and donations, Literacy New Jersey is a statewide non-profit network helping adults change their lives through literacy. The organization advocates for and educates about adult literacy, providing resources to adult learners throughout New Jersey. For more information or to volunteer, call 800-848-0048 or visit


Office locations:



Literacy New Jersey

224 Main Street

Metuchen, NJ 08840

Tel: 800-848-0048


Burlington County

P.O. Box 2746

Willingboro, NJ 08046



Gloucester County

Woodbury Child Development Center
36 Carpenter St.
Woodbury, NJ 08096



Mercer County

3535 Quakerbridge Road

Suite 104

Hamilton, NJ 08619



Middlesex County

380 Washington Road

Suite F

Sayreville, NJ 08872



Ocean County

c/o Ocean County Community College

P.O. Box 2001

Toms River, NJ 08754



Union County

121-125 Chestnut Street

Suite 203

Roselle, NJ 07203




Literacy New Jersey Affiliates:


Atlantic County

LVA-Cape-Atlantic, Inc.



Bergen County


LV-Englewood Library


Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County



Camden County

LVA-Camden County 



Cumberland and Salem Counties

 LV-Cumberland/Salem Counties



Essex County


LVA-Essex & Passaic Counties

LVA-Essex & Passaic Counties



Hudson County

Jersey City Library Literacy Program

LV-West Hudson



Hunterdon County

Hunterdon Helpline Literacy Services



Monmouth County

LV-Monmouth County



Morris County

LV-Morris County



Somerset County

LV-Somerset County



Sussex and Warren Counties

LV-Sussex County



Union County

LV-Plainfield Public Library


Chi Kung for Healing Classes

A cancer diagnosis propels many people into a world of unfamiliar and perhaps frightening emotions. Because there are many ways to cope with these feelings, The Cancer Center of Saint Barnabas offers many services designed to help patients and their loved ones facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment.


The Cancer Program of Saint Barnabas holds day and evening “Chi Kung for Healing” classes, available free to cancer patients and survivors treated at Saint Barnabas and from the community. There is growing evidence that the mind-body practice of Chi Kung, a form of Tai Chi which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. The classes are taught by Miriam Shankman, a Certified Chi Kung Teacher and Healer with 16 years experience, and involve physical movement, mental focus and deep breathing.


“Our Chi Kung class is a good fit for those who are undergoing cancer treatment and would like to gently move and strengthen their body and spirit as well as our cancer survivors who have completed treatment and want to maintain good health,” explains Angela McCabe, LCSW, OSW-C, Director of Psychosocial Support Services and Community Outreach at Saint Barnabas.


Classes meet on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 7:00 pm and on Thursdays from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, 94 Old Short Hills Rd., Livingston, NJ.  For more information and to register, please call Ms. McCabe at 973-322-2668.


“Chi Kung for Healing” is part of The Cancer Program of Saint Barnabas’s extensive array of free services available to its patients.  Services include individual and group counseling, art therapy, genetic counseling, holistic nurse services like Reflexology and Reiki, and spiritual care.


Newark Black Film Festival

The Newark Black Film Festival, the longest running festival of its kind in the United States, kicks off its 40th season on June 25 at the Newark Museum with a film that marks the 50th anniversary of the first Freedom Ride in May 1961. Youth Cinema, the accompanying summer-long series of free children’s features and short films, will be held on Mondays at The Newark Public Library starting July 7 and Wednesdays at the Newark Museum starting July 9.

The opening night reception for Freedom Riders begins at 5:30 pm; it will be followed by the screening and a discussion with Junius Williams, Director of the Abbott Leadership Institute, Rutgers University/Newark, at 7 pm.  The festival will continue with screenings every Wednesday through July 30.  Screenings will take place at the Museum unless otherwise noted.

Since its introduction by the Museum in 1974, NBFF has provided a forum for emerging writers, directors, producers, performers and patrons of black cinema.  The festival is supported by Bank of America, as it has been for the past 14 years.  It is co-presented by New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT); The Newark Public Library; Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience/Rutgers; Rutgers, the State University of NJ/Newark, and CityPlex 12 Newark.

Screenings are free but seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  All speakers are subject to change or cancellation. Pre-registration is required for the opening night reception of Freedom Riders and can be made by phone at 973.596.6550 or email

For additional information, follow the Museum on Facebook at; Twitter at; or visit


All screenings begin at 7 pm at the Museum unless otherwise noted.

June 25

Freedom Riders: Chronicles the story of hundreds of civil rights activists called the Freedom Riders who challenged and brought racial segregation to national attention.  Speaker: Junius Williams, Director of the Abbott Leadership Institute, Rutgers University/Newark.

July 2

20 Feet From Stardom:  Award-winning director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century.  20014 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary.

July 9, CityPlex 12 Theatre

12 Years a Slave: The story of a New York-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. He worked on plantations in Louisiana for 12 years before his release. 2014 Academy Award winner for Best Picture.

July 16

Big Words: Members of a once-promising hip-hop group, now in their late 30s, struggle with regret, disappointment and change on Election Night 2008.  Speaker: Neil Drumming, filmmaker, screenwriter and journalist.

July 23

Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin’ to Tell You: Whoppi Goldberg takes a look at the work and influence of African-American stand-up comedienne Moms Mabley.

July 30, CityPlex 12 Theatre

Paul Robeson Awards screening. Please visit for additional information and winners.


Youth Cinema will be held on Mondays at The Newark Public Library at 10:30 am and at the Newark Museum on Wednesdays at 1 pm unless otherwise noted.

July 7 and 9

  • Mrs. Katz and Tush: When Lames, a young African American, presents Mrs. Katz, a lonely Jewish widow, with a kitten without a tail, a lasting friendship develops.
  • Chicken Sunday: After her grandmother dies, a young Ukrainian-American girl becomes attached to her African-American neighbors.
  • Flossie & The Fox: Plucy Flossie Finley asks a clever fox to prove that he is a fox before she will be frightened of him on her way to deliver a basket of eggs.
  • Sule And The Case Of The Tiny Sparks: In this animated film by Rene Rawls, a 10-year old African detective named Sule helps other kids solve the meaning of proverbs.

July 14 and 9

  • Ruby Bridges: When six-year-old Ruby Bridges entered school in 1960, she stepped straight into history, becoming the first black student to attend an all-white school in New Orleans.

July 21 and 23

  • The Journey Of Henry Box Brown: Historic true tale of slave Henry Box Brown who mailed himself to freedom in a wooden box from Virginia to Pennsylvania.
  • Roberto: The Insect Architect: A termite named Roberto follows his dream of becoming an architect and travels to the big city to find success.
  • Honey…Honey…Lion!: An African honey guide bird teaches a greedy honey badger a lesson about sharing.
  • Yo! Yes?: Two lonely boys who don’t know each other are brought together with a simple “Yo!” answered by the other one’s “Yes?” and the bounce of a basketball.

July 28 and July 30

Labou: Three young friends set out to find a centuries-old pirate ship lost in the Louisiana Bayou, and discover adventure beyond their wildest imagination.

August 6

  • The Pied Piper: Find out if the mysterious Pied Piper has a trick up his sleeve when asked to help the citizens of Hamlyn.
  • Wormhead: In this animated, award-winning film, young Jessie learns a lesson about accepting people as they are.
  • Lincoln And Douglass: A story of the unusual friendship between two great American leaders at a time when equality was not yet established.

August 13

  • Pocahontas: An unforgettable story of how one courageous girl bridged the gap between two cultures and wound up changing history.