Literacy Volunteers Provides Outreach to Haitian Students

ELIZABETH — Literacy Volunteers of Union County (LV-UC) has received a grant from the United Way of Greater Union County and has partnered with Jefferson Park Ministries in Elizabeth to work with Haitian refugees who are in the United States less than one year.  The primary objectives of the grant are to provide ESL classes and teach survival skills to these individuals who have made Elizabeth their home, and to assist those eligible in finding jobs.

LV-UC is a non-profit organization that recruits and trains volunteers to work with adults seeking to improve their reading, writing or English speaking skills.


Dawn Thomas, LV-UC Field Services Coordinator for ESL, has conducted an extensive interview process with these adults to determine the level of their English speaking skills in order to develop a program that will meet their needs. Thomas commented, “These individuals are not here as part of a planned migration, but due to the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti earlier this year.  They share an eagerness and thirst for knowledge to help them assimilate to life in the United States.”

Due to the large volume of adult learners, Thomas will need to conduct two separate group classes.  Initially, she will be working independently with the students, but is hoping to recruit new volunteers to assist her with the tutoring.    The students will begin classes this month through February.  Another series of classes will be conducted in the spring.

To learn more about Literacy Volunteers, visit  Registration has begun for the Winter New Tutor Training Workshop, which begins in January at the Linden Library.  Click on the link in Upcoming Events for more information or to register. You may also contact Petrow at 1-908-755-7998 or email her at

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