Two Monmouth residents honored at conference

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Two Monmouth County residents – one from Howell and one from West Long Branch – were honored for their efforts to advance adult literacy at Literacy NJ’s annual conference on April 22.

Literacy NJ, which provides free adult literacy programs and U.S. citizenship classes in eight counties, presented the awards at its annual Literacy for Life Conference at Mercer County Community College, West Windsor, according to a press release.

The event brought together 200 students, tutors, adult educators and board members from across the state for a day of professional development.

Adult literacy tutor Susan George of Howell received the 2017 Award for Tutor Excellence.

George, a former elementary teacher and currently an English As a Second Language teacher at Brookdale Community College, became an adult literacy volunteer tutor in 2004, according to the press release.

George started LV-Monmouth’s Project Success program in 2013. The program helps adults gain the skills needed to enroll in a General Educational Development (GED) or Adult Basic Education (ABE) course at the local community college.

Project Success offers students individual attention and helps them work at their own pace. The program has grown to include adults who were below a fifth grade level in reading and math, in hopes of helping the students make the gains needed to enroll in ABE classes, according to the press release.

George has made a difference in the lives of many of her students, helping them improve their scores so they could enter the GED or ABE programs, or attend the Learning Link at the Monmouth County Workforce Development to get job training, according to the press release.

Because of her patience and encouragement, students have met their goals and continued on to further their education or job skills training, according to the press release.

Adult learner Justin Farro of West Long Branch received Literacy NJ’s 2017 Student Excellence Award.

Farro struggled with learning difficulties as a child, but never lost his desire to learn. He came to Literacy Volunteers-Monmouth in 2015 to improve his writing and math skills. Farro recently achieved his goal of writing a letter to a friend using correct spelling and punctuation, according to the press release.

Literacy NJ’s statewide network provides free instruction in reading, writing, math and speaking English to more than 5,700 adults each year.