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Jersey City Library Literacy Program Shines at LVA’s Literacy for Life Conference

Cristian Rodriguez receives award for Student Excellence

On April 20, 2013, staff, students and tutors attended the Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey annual Literacy for Life conference at Mercer County College. Cristian Rodriguez accepted an award for Student Excellence. Since joining the program in June 2012, Cristian passed his GED, obtained his driver’s license, enrolled at Hudson County Community College, obtained full-time employment, and is being trained to become a Deacon in his church. This is quite a turnaround for Cristian, whose life was headed in the opposite direction. After passing the GED, which he struggled with for a few years, his confidence escalated and he has become a productive citizen in society. Eighteen individuals represented the Jersey City Library Literacy Program at the conference.

Nationally syndicated broadcaster and author of the award-winning memoir, Most Unlikely to Succeed, Nelson Lauver spoke at the 2013 Literacy for Life Conference, and shared his keynote, “When You Get Knocked Down,” a thought-provoking and entertaining journey into the extraordinary potential within us all. Using his gift as a storyteller, Nelson shared his own story, as well as those of other “ordinary” Americans who refused to give up.

After years of struggling as a functionally illiterate adult, an amazing chance encounter and the utterance of one word – dyslexia – changed Lauver’s life.  He finally learned to read and write and set out on a journey that few would have imagined.

Read more: Jersey City Library Literacy Program Shines at LVA’s Literacy for Life Conference


Latina Author Wendy Oliveras of “Let’s Play SHESS”

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Greenville's Christmas Party Toys Give-Away 2012

Greenville's Christmas Party Toys Give-Away 2012

Topped Santa’s Spree!

Greenville branch manager Kenny Uko and his staff glowed with the Christmas Spirit as they prepared for the upcoming Christmas party, identifying gifts for either boys or girls of certain ages, and wrapping the presents carefully. Maybe it was the Christmas music in the background, or because giving away presents is such a fun task, but the camaraderie amongst everyone was palpable. Giving is so good for the soul. Can’t let Santa have all the fun!

The toys were donated from the Marine Toys for Tots program, and the amount of gifts totaled over 220 pieces. The annual Greenville party planners have gotten their organization down, and know just how to phrase the request in the flyer: “Please recommend less-privileged and needy kids.” In that way, they know exactly who will be getting each gift, which helps in the toy distribution. This is especially great because the prior solicitation allows for satisfying a child’s individual request. The flyer also suggests, “Let’s put a smile on Jersey City children!” This Christmas Party certainly did.

Read more: Greenville's Christmas Party Toys Give-Away 2012


Bill Cosby Talks at St. Peter’s University on Friday, December 7, 2012

Library Board President Holds Up Library Card; ‘Cos’ in Background

Library Director Priscilla Gardner didn’t get exactly what she wanted, yet still she was pleased.

Bill Cosby, whose performance was re-scheduled from Saturday, November 3, due to Hurricane Sandy, spoke at Saint Peter’s University on Friday, December 7. Library Director Priscilla Gardner and NJ Room manager Cynthia Harris were both in attendance at the special reception before the iconic comedian took the stage.

Mr. Cosby, whose honest, yet blunt opinions illustrate the mind and heart of the Ph.D.-holding funny man, is clear about not posing for photo opportunities. Library Director Priscilla Gardner has been just as forthright, asking elected and appointed officials, and all sorts of famous people to smile while holding the Jersey City Free Public Library card for a photograph.

Read more: Bill Cosby Talks at St. Peter’s University on Friday, December 7, 2012


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