Maplewood Memorial Library has received a grant in the amount of $74,215 from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) through the Adult Literacy & Community Library Partnership to continue funding its successful ESOL English for Speakers of Other Languages program at the library’s Hilton Branch, in partnership with Literary Volunteers of America, Essex and Passaic County.
LWD seeks to improve access and expand opportunities for workers to upgrade their adult basic education and/or English language proficiency skills through local libraries.
The LWD piloted this grant offering in 2016, and Maplewood Library received $72,053 to initiate ESOL programming, with 162 students receiving ESOL instruction at the Hilton Branch in its first year. Reporting results show success rates averaging at 60% for the four sessions, with 98 students advancing a level over the course of the year. This is a major achievement, as most beginning programs report success rates of 30%-40%. The majority of the students were from Haiti, with students from China, Bulgaria and several Spanish speaking countries in South America filling out the classes.
A successful summer session for over 60 students was held thanks to grant funding received from American Library Association/Dollar General Grant and the Fraentzel Foundation. Maplewood Librarian Amanda Eigen, secured both LWD grants and the ALA grant for the Library.
Maplewood Library is proud to have been one of the 11 libraries to pilot this program for LWD last year, and to continue into year 2 with LVAEP. Kelsey Williams, Program Specialist at the Department of Labor has said, “Thank you for all that you do! I always reference ‘Maplewood’ when discussing the success of this program!”
For more information on Maplewood Memorial Library, visit www.maplewoodlibrary.org.