Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey Receives $11,000 Grant from The Horizon Foundation to Improve Health Literacy Skills

METUCHEN – The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey recently announced its third round of grants for 2011, awarding $396,000 to 23 organizations. The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey supports charitable organizations that promote health and the arts throughout New Jersey.

“We are proud to support these 23 organizations and the noble goals they are working very hard to achieve,” said Robert A. Marino, chairman of the board of directors of the foundation. “We recognize how these organizations are making a positive difference in the health and quality of life of individuals throughout New Jersey.”

Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey in Metuchen received a grant of $11,000 to support health literacy workshops for adults, “Reading Medicine Labels,” as part of its Improving Health Literacy Skills of Low Literate Adults Project. The workshops are designed to increase understanding of medications, their different forms and how to read labels. The grant also provides for a volunteer train-the trainer session, community outreach and a health literacy session for workshop leaders.

Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey is the only statewide, nongovernmental volunteer-based literacy organization in New Jersey. Based in Metuchen, the agency provides professional development, technical assistance, training, financial support and other services to a network of 20 community-based organizations in 18 counties.

Nationwide, about 32 million adults, or 14 percent of the population, have “very low” literacy skills, according to the U.S. Department of Education. In New Jersey almost 1 million adults over the age of 25 do not have a high school diploma. In the state’s urban school districts, between 40 and 60 percent of students drop out of school with reading levels well below ninth grade.

Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey was established in 1979 to support and promote quality adult education programs throughout the state. These organizations recruit, train, and match volunteers with adults who need to improve their basic reading, writing and math skills, or their ability to understand and speak English.

Last year 1,700 tutors provided more than 79,000 hours of free instruction in Basic Literacy (reading, writing, and math) or English for Speakers of Other Languages to more than 5,500 adults with limited literacy skills.

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