The South Orange Public Library, in coordination with two other Essex County libraries, has been awarded a $15,000 grant as part of “The American Dream Starts @ Your Library” literacy project. This initiative is targeted toward adult English language learners and their families, and is funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the American Library Association (ALA), and its Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.
The public libraries in South Orange, Bloomfield, and Montclair are partnering with the Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) to provide publicity and space for volunteer training, conversation groups, and individual/small group tutoring in order to provide literacy assistance to all Essex County residents.
The libraries in this partnership together have more than 47,000 registered borrowers and serve populations diverse in background, ethnicity, economic status, and education. County-wide, 32.6% of the population speaks a language other than English.
With the addition of new materials for each library’s collection, available to all county residents through reciprocal borrowing, literacy services for adult language learners will be enhanced far beyond the duration of the grant.
“There are very few gifts that last a lifetime,” said Denine Torr, Dollar General’s director of community initiatives. “Literacy is one of them. It empowers individuals to increase their education and employability”.
The South Orange Public Library is pleased to partner with the American Library Association to expand services to English language learners and to help enhance individuals’ potential to unleash their American Dream.