Educational Institutions

Project PLUS Bergen County Area, Inc.

  • Hackensack, NJ
  • www.project-literacy.org

Mission Statement

Our mission is to increase the level of public awareness of the issue of adult literacy and to serve as a catalyst for initiatives and activities that increase the level of adult literacy.

Main Programs

  1. Adult Basic Literacy

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Service Areas

Self-reported

New Jersey

Our students come from the greater Bergen County, NJ area - including Hudson County and Passaic County, NJ and Orange and Rockland, NY counties.

ruling year

2000

Executive Director since 2015

Self-reported

Mr. Christopher Stout

Keywords

Self-reported

Adult Literacy, Reading, ESL, Workforce Literacy, Tutoring, GED, Volunteers

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EIN

22-3342003

 Number

0907068102

Physical Address

355 Main St

Hackensack, NJ 07601

Also Known As

Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The effect of low literacy costs the U.S. over $225 billion each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment. We help employers who need an assessment of their literacy needs. Workers must be able to read safety regulations and warnings so they and their co-workers can stay safe on the job. We help policymakers who need information regarding the literacy field to inform their decisions. Members of the media who want to inform the public and explain problems relating to illiteracy contact us.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Adult Basic Literacy

We provide, support and promote the expansion of adult literacy in Bergen County. Using volunteer tutors, Project Literacy offers free one-on-one tutoring in the following areas:
• Adult Basic Literacy - Reading and writing;
• English as a Second Language (ESL);
• Mathematics for the High School Equivalency (formerly GED) exam.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$130,000

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Our goal is to provide the gift of literacy to adults who confront life in Bergen County, NJ without the skills to effectively communicate; to help parents read to their children, to help adults read and understand road signs, prescriptions and other every-day experiences.

    Without English and essential educational skills, families and adult learners cannot achieve their full potential. Increasing literacy decreases social problems, poverty, crime and health care cost. Literacy prepares adults for gainful employment to provide for their families.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Our strategy is to properly marry tutor and student to facilitate and maximize the student's chances at success. Our staff, currently of one full-time and two part-time employees, recruits, trains and monitors 93 volunteer tutors who provide free 1-on-1 adult literacy tutoring for ESL & High School Equivalency to 120 students. Students and tutors generally meet once a week. Tutor training sessions are held regularly. Our staff guides volunteers through the necessary steps to becoming a tutor by providing 15 hours of training, matching the tutor with a student whose learning needs fit the tutor's abilities.
    Lessons are held at a time and location mutually convenient for student and tutor. Students and tutors generally meet once a week for one and a half hours. Volunteer tutors work on a one-to-one basis helping adults with reading, writing, speaking English and math at a location convenient to both tutor and student such as a local library. Locations are determined by student and tutor. Students stay with us for an average of 18 months. Success is measured by progress of the student toward their goals.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Beyond 25+ plus years of experience and the presence of two university Deans, a high school Principal and educators on our board of trustees, our staff Director of Tutor and Student Services has completed the Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey "Train the Trainer" workshop to add to a Masters degree and New Jersey Department of Education certificates.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Our program is “open-ended," and therefore we do not have a specific evaluation period, like a school semester, so we evaluate success based on reaching the goals of the students as well as other benchmarks which include:
    • Holding a least three tutor training sessions during a twelve month period;
    • Serving at least 250 students to help them with their basic skills;
    • Distributing scholarship money to students in need so that they can take college level courses for the first time;
    • Having our students progress, on average two grade levels for every 110 hours of instruction.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Everything. Success, or accomplishments, depend on how much the student puts into it. Thousands of our students have accomplished success and leave us with a knowledge of written English and the ability to read everything they need to read with an understanding of basic mathematics while some students, as in all educational programs, falter and have not accomplished what THEY wanted. Most don't give up and stay in our programs. We can only help them so far if they do not want to help themselves.
Service Areas

Self-reported

New Jersey

Our students come from the greater Bergen County, NJ area - including Hudson County and Passaic County, NJ and Orange and Rockland, NY counties.

Funding Needs

Contributions;Grants

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Project PLUS Bergen County Area, Inc.

Leadership

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  • Board Chair and Board Members
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Executive Director

Mr. Christopher Stout

BIO

NON PROFIT EXPERIENCE
• Independent Contractor Grant Writer Family Promise of Bergen County 2008-2014
• Independent Contractor Grant Writer Free the Kids 2009-2014
• Treasurer Board of Trustees Camp Nejeda Foundation 2006-2010
• Executive Director, Diabetes Foundation, Inc., Ridgewood, NJ 2005–2008
• Board of Trustees French American Chamber of Commerce, NY Chapter 2006-2007
• Board of Directors, Sergeant at Arms, Secretary, President Rotary Club of Ridgewood A.M. 2006-Present
• Board of Trustees, Treasurer Center for Food Action in New Jersey 1989–2005
• U.S. Army Support Command Europe, Worms, Germany - AYA Treasurer 1973-1975

COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS, ACCOMPLISHMENTS & CITATIONS
• Distinguished Service Award, Garden State Association of Diabetes Educators 2006
• Forbes Enterprise Award finalist 2006
• Journalism Award, New Jersey Society of Professional Journalist 2002 & 2006
• Rotary International, Paul Harris Fellow (2-sponsored) 2009 & 2011
• Rotary District 7490 Walter D. Head Fellow 2010
• Rotary International District 7490 – District Fund Raising Counsel 2012-2013
• U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute 2010
• American Legion Post 53 – Scholarship Committee 2009-present
• American Legion Post 53 Legionnaire of the Year 2010
• Bergen County NJ American Legion, Legionnaire of the Year 2011-12
• Ordained Elder – Presbyterian Church USA 1998-present
a) 17 Youth Retreats, 10 Mission Trips, several councils & committees
• Village of Ridgewood, Proclamation 2011
• MVP, CAL New York City Bank Softball League 1980
• Batting Champion, International Baseball Tournament, Savona, Italy 1975
• Runner-up, Nice Université Club, French National Baseball Championship 1976
• Community Blood Services, 10 gallon donor
• Little League Baseball/Girls' Softball coach – 19 years

BANKING EXPERIENCE
Commercial Banking, Retail Branch Management, Private Banking
• Director, Private Banking, Société Générale – New York
• Branch Manager, Chase Manhattan Bank – Martinique, French West Indies
• Retail Branch Manager, Middle Market Lender, Correspondent Banker,
American Express International Banking Corporation – New York, Germany, France
• NASD Securities and Investment Licenses - Series 6, 7, 8, 24, 63, and 65
• Life and Health Insurance License - New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan

MEMBERSHIPS
• Association of Fundraising Professionals
• University of Louisville L Club
• Ridgewood American Legion Post 53
• Rotary Club of Ridgewood A.M.
• Association Française de Banques

EDUCATION
• Bachelor of Arts Degree: University of Louisville - 1967
• International Study - Université de Montpellier – France 1965-1966
LANGUAGES: French (fluent)

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"Our goal is to help us provide the gift of literacy to adults who confront life in Bergen County without the skills to effectively communicate. If you can read this, you have that gift. You are lucky. 150,000 of our neighbors cannot. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Larry Eisen

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?