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Project Literacy GED tutoring

We provide free tutoring services by trained volunteers to adults in need of basic literacy education (reading and writing), HSE (GED) preparation, math and ESL in the Bergen County New Jersey area.

Parents should be able to read to their children...

Workers can't fill out job applications if they're unable to read...

Immigrants get left behind because they can't speak English...

Illiteracy affects us all in terms of higher unemployment, poverty and crime.
Did you know that 1 in 4 American adults volunteers in their community? And together, American volunteers donate nearly 7.9 billion hours of service annually?

According to the Independent Sector, the latest national value of volunteer time is $25.68 per hour.

Using our current number of students and tutors along with our expenses for the last fiscal year, Project Literacy has calculated the value of our adult education volunteer work in the Greater Bergen County, New Jersey area is $364,555.


A First Look at the Findings of the National Adult Literacy Survey "...the survey did find that 90 million, or nearly half of American adults have limited literacy skills."

Facts You May Not Have Known About Literacy

  • 44 million people in the United States cannot read well enough to fill out a job application, read a food label, read a simple story to their child or fill out a bank deposit slip properly
  • One of out every ten drivers you meet on the highway cannot read the road signs
  • For every dollar that is spent on adult illiteracy, society reaps $7.14 in return either through increased revenues or decreased expenditures such as health care or job training
  • The United States is only 49th out of 156 ranked countries when it comes to literacy
  • Literacy problems cost businesses approximately $225 billion a year in lost productivity
  • More than 150,000 people in Bergen County alone cannot read beyond the fourth grade level. More than 93 million adults in the US have limited reading skills

See Literacy Facts

From the Bergen Record 6/6/2016:

marko georgiev / bergen record staff photographer

Adult literacy tutors are always in demand

"It's scary," says Christopher C. Stout, executive director of Project Literacy. "Statistics say that one in 10 drivers can't read the road signs." more...

Volunteer an adult learn to read

...promote literacy in Bergen County

Get Help
...for yourself, a family member or friend

Upcoming Events:

Tutor Training

Upcoming Classes:
Due to thankfully high demand, we are adding two compact tutor trainings in July, 2016:

Thursdays, July 7 and 14 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Fridays, July 8 and July 15 from 12:00 to 4:00 pm

The Fall tutor training will be sometime in October 2016. People interested in tutoring who have previous tutoring or teaching experience may be able to receive individual training soon after applying.

These are a combined trainings for prospective adult basic skills and English as a second language tutors, introducing them to techniques and guidelines to help them work effectively with their students.

All classes take place at Bergen Community College Ciarco Learning Center at 355 Main St. in Hackensack, NJ 07601.

We ask that you arrive 15 minutes earlier on the first evening in order to complete the necessary paperwork. Please bring a current resume with you and two references. There is a $20 materials fee for the book and training materials. Thank you for your efforts. For more information, please email Antonio Brugnoli.

Evelyn’s Story

I was born in Liberia, West Africa, a member of the Kissi tribe. My family were descendants of chiefs. My parents were loving and kindhearted. I was brought up to be very independent and proud of who I was. Unfortunately, my family didn't believe in sending their girl children to school.

As a child, I was being groomed to marry a chief from another tribe. Everyday I was told how to behave and act. This went on until I was fourteen years old. The day of my wedding, everything was going on as if I was not even there. There was food, dancing and drinking as I sat in my mother's bedroom, watching my life being planned for me. I knew right then that what was happening out there was not my life! I saw two lives. One life will be, by the time I turned 20, I would have my own farm and maybe three kids, and boobs down to my knees. The other was far away in an unknown land. I chose to go with the unknown.

My village is about 20 to 25 miles from where my auntie lives. I must have been having an out of body experience to be able to walk through the jungle and not be afraid I was going to be eaten by wild animals. When I got there, she thought a member of the family had died. I assured her that everybody was well. I told her I wanted to go to school. Can't remember whether she smiled or laughed at what she heard. I was very surprised to see her reaction. She told me I was too old to go to school. I said, if you can't help me, I will leave and find another way.

Two or three days later, she took me to school. They told her that I was too grown for kindergarten, too big for first grade, so they put me in the second grade. I was teased every day by other girls that were my age who were in sixth or seventh grade. They called me peeking village which means country girl or bush girl.

The teacher sat me in the back of the classroom where I could see the tops of all my classmates' heads, but I could not see the blackboard. Every day I left school with terrible headaches and watery eyes. Didn't understand what was wrong with me. Years later, I found out that I needed glasses to read. That's why I had those headaches.

When I came to America, I couldn't read or write. My world was pitch black. For almost ten years, I did odds jobs to survive. Teaching myself to read a little, I was blessed to work for a family as a nanny, who saw my creativity in cooking and decided to send me to cooking school. Eventually I got a job working in New York City as a chef but I still couldn't read or write very well.

Though I still have some trouble with math and reading comprehension, my Project Literacy tutor has helped me improve my skills to meet and achieve my goals in reading, writing and computer skills, enabling me to write this story.

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