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Student Writings from the Adult Literacy Program

We are very proud of our students for their many accomplishments, and we are pleased to share some of their writings. We invite all of our Adult Literacy Students to submit their work for the Student Newsletter and this section of the website.
To submit work for this page, contact us at

My Biography

TeotihuacanMy name is Sonia Varillas, I'm from Mexico, and I'm a student of the Adult Literacy program in Plainfield. I have been in the program for almost 2 years. This improved my life in many ways, because the possibility to learn a second language makes me fell part of the community. And now I could be a support for my children, helping them with their homework, speaking with their teachers, or just doing little things that are easier for the people who born and grew up in the United States.

Thanks to all tutors specially Valarie Edwards, my tutor, thanks to be my support and my inspiration. You're not only teaching me a language, actually you are helping me to reach my dreams.

The L.V. really change lives. I'm an example of that.

Sonia Varillas
April 2009


My Home Country


Colombia I am from Cartegena, Colombia. My country is
historic. It is visited by many tourists. Cartegena has two port, a sea port and river port. Also it has islands and beautiful beaches. I study English in the library. My teach is Gregory. He is very dedicated and I learn a lot. I want to speak very good English. My name is Myrian Garzon. I give to my God for this opportunity in my life.

Spain found Cartagena. They built forts and castles. The name of the castle is San Felipe de Barajas, in the center of Cartagena. The is prison on the Island of Bocachica. It is 1 hour out from Cartagena by sea. A tourist attraction is trained dolphins and sharks.

Myrian Garzon
March 2005


I'm from Bogota Colombia. I'm married we have three daughters and one son. Also have tow grandson and one granddaughter.

ColumbiaThe Capital of Colombia is Bogota, the temperature of Bogota is between 15/20 degrees Centigrade. Colombia produce the best coffee of the world and beautiful emeralds. It export to many countries: coffee, bananas flowers and fruits. Colombia also has beautiful turist places: beaches, lakes and parks in the Cities of Cartagena Santa Marta and San Andres Islands.

There are famus people from Colombia like Fernando Botero (painter), Gabriel Garcia Marquez (writer) and Juan Pablo Montoya (pilot formula one race car driver.) Our President is Mr. Alvaro Uribe. The currency is Colombian peso. Our flag has three colors: yelow, blue and red. The important music of our folklore Cumbia (La Pollordi Colorado Vallenato (in the cost) Salsa in Valle del Cauea.

H. R., ESL Student
March 2005


My Country is Colombia. I am proud to be Colombian. My city is Valledupar, Cesar, the capital of Colombia is Bogatá, and it is slogan: “Bogatá: 2600 mts near the stars.” Our president is Mr. Alvaro Uribe. Our flag has three colors: yellow, blue and red. Our currency is the peso colombian.

Colombia has beautiful beaches they are in the Atlantic and pacific ocean. It has the most beautiful esmerald [emeralds] and the best coffee of the world. Colombia also has touristics places with variety of weather. The population is wonderful! Colombia has the majority of birds and flowers of the world. the typical food is: Arepas, bandeja paisa, ajiaco, sancocho, tamales, lechona, tolemense. the important rhythms of our folk: vallenato, cumbia and typical Colombian.

We are wonderful people. We wait you anytime. You are always welcome.

March 2005



EcuadorLast year when I traveled to Ecudaor I was excited. Looking from the air the little cities that were around the airport. When the airplane landed we started to get out from the front principal door, were my family was vary happy. My cousin was there too. I used to practice the sport of soccer with my cousin.

During vacations I visited two cities Quito and Ambato, because during all my vacations I was with my mother and father, taking care and giving them my help at all times. My parents were very happy and I was too.

I enjoyed it a lot that vacations untils I was back home.

April 2009


My Country Ecuador Has North Colombia, South Peru, East Peru West Pacific Ocean. Ecuador Has big mountains olso volcanos, and Lakes has tree different areas for Coas [Costales], Sienna in Oriental and all tropical. The coast has bananas fisherman and also coffee. Sierrra is the area flafluns [flowers] and fruits in the Oriental or tropical area. Is umera [humid] is always rains never no snout [snow].

March 2005


I am proud to be Ecuatorian. My city is St. Doming of Colorados. The capital of Ecuador is Quito, and this is a big city with many inhabitants. Our President is Mr. Luis Gutiervez. Our Flag has three colors: yellow, blue and red.

Our currency is the American dollar. Ecuador has beautiful touristics places with variety weather. Ecuador also has the Archipielago of the Galapagos. This is a place Where Ecuador Islands are. It is visit by many people of the another countries.

R. G., ESL student
March 2005



I am from Jutiapa in Guatemala. It is a very beautiful place. The mountains surround the city. There are volcanic mountains with crater lakes. Many tourists go to visit every year.

A New Student
March 2005



PeruHi everybody, I was born in Lima the capital of Peru South America. Peru was the center of the Inca’s Empire The ancient Civilization that built The Macchu Picchu Ruins in Cuzco, wich is a favorite toristic place.

My country has three differents regions: The coast, The highlands and The jungle. Everyone has a variety of weather. The coast is mild in winter and hot in summer The jungle is hot all the year and it rains a lot and it is very humid. Thie highland is cold in winter, It rain a lot and It snows in some areas of The Andes.

Peru has a rich folkore, music dance and food. The popular music is “The Huayno” in the highlands. The “Marinera” and “waltz” in the coast and The “Cumbia” and “Chicha” in the jungle. The popular food is “The Ceviche” which is made of fish, lemon juice, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, letuce, corn and sweet potato. Other typical dish is “The papa a la Huancaina” wich is made of potato, and a sauce of cheese, yellow chili, crakers, garlic, salt and pepper.

The people of my country are very friendly and all the tourists that visit Peru, come again because there are many toursitic places to visit, like museums, ruins, churches, lakes, rivers, canyons. Everybody is welcome in my country.

March 2005



CubaI went to a taon close were I live and sole som clothes for a truep to Guantanamo. I went to the city coll Pinar del Rio. I bot a tiket to go to Havana.
I took a tren from Pinar del Rio to Havana. I was absent from my miletar base for about one week. acshualy was traing to be arrep

Wen I rech Havan immediately I bout a tiket to Santiago de Cuba in the other side of the country. I was trayind not to be in the open, thear were polis ol over. I took the tren, the tren went ol over the contry becas I am from the oposite side of the contry.

I went to all the provincis. I almos a have a encontor wist the polis at may arrable to Santiago de Cuba. I took the las tren from Santiago to de City of Guantanamo. I stare luquin for the bas estation. I was loke the I went inside the Bus. It was lait in the evinis.

The bus toke me to the polis chek point, one polis wen insaid the bus luking to everybady. Then the bus ostap in smoll tohon cale ciudad de los Martires. I went to smol park were was a T.V. I stare washing the T.V. then I realise tha I need to go before they se mi.

Wen every bod wen to eslip I fond a place in the buches and loy doon. Early at dorn I went to out the toan. I walk intel I found a old roud. Then I sou a big fence I claimed an yonp then I sou the other one an yonp it.

The I was susprise, tha somebody as washing me
Satody a explortion of a mine hit my legs. I was bad wund in bothe legs. Satudy they pic a lite were I was. I stendop with mine hand up. And when they put the lite of I stare walking. I was peinfol with to wunds in my to legs.

After yonp the 3 fence. thear was a neutral zone. Finaly I went after the fence and I advance inside the U.S. Territory. Fanaly the marings decovery my and they rech me to the hospital. I spend 1 wiek in Guantanamo the I toke a plane to the US.

May 2005



SenegalI came to US from Senegal. My langueche is Mandinka.

My faverd food in Senegal is Okora soop. In my langueche we call it Kanja soop. Kanja is made from Okora, magge, salt, fish or beef and palm oil. I like it because is test good and dosnot make fat. You can get Kanja soop in Harlem NYC at Baoba Restaurant.

I live in Plainfield. Im larning English at public library.

My faverd American good is sandwish. I like it because is make my body storong. It is made from bread, beef, tomato and salat. You can get from Kennedy Fried Chekin on Park Ave. Also my faverd drink is milk. I like it is make my body warm.

March 2005


SenegalMy name is ELHADJI AMADOU CAMARA. I come from SENEGAL in WEST AFRICA close to the Atlantic Ocean. The population is ten millions. We have many tongues. The official language is French and “Ouoloff” is the national language. The weather is favorable. The tourism is very profitable. SENEGAL have a nice tourism site: DAKAR the capital, MBOUR, CASAMANCE, SAINT LOUIS and the Island of Goree. The Island of Goree was the trade fair for slavery and sent to USA. In AFRICA SENEGAL is one model of democracy. They call SENEGAL “Pays de la Teranga” it means hospitality country. SENEGAL is underdeveloped, the principle farming is peanuts. Practically we import all the products.

PS. The Island of GOREE is heritage for human history and attracts many tourists for to discover this mystic Island.

May 2005


The Machine

I work at Metropark parking garage. There is a machine in front of the customer services office to pay for your parking. One morning this old man put coins in the bill slot and the machine was jammed. The machine could not take bills. We put a sign on the machine that says bills only.

Jennifer Korngor
May 2005


My Dream House

Is a big house with a two car garage in Piscataway. Outside I would like flowers, a pool, play ground and a big yard. There would be a big black dog too. Inside I would like three bedrooms and two bathrooms. I would like a big livingroom with a computer, big T.V., stereo, and video games. Comfortable sofa and chairs would be perfect.

My kitchen would be big with a big stove, refrigerator, microwave, dish washer, and one sink. There would be a table and chairs. Lots of white cabinets would hold my dishes. I would cook many good meals there.

I would like two cars. One would be a new dark blue Acura. The other would be a sport car.

I hope my dream comes true!!

Claudia Borer
April 2009


Fond Memories

When I used to live in the city of Quito in my country of Ecudor, I had a little dog her race was cocker, her ears were big they used to touch the floor, her eyes were really nice, also her hair was soft and brown.

It was beautiful; her favorite food was food for dogs. But when I didn't have food for dogs I gave her soups, it was lively it liked to bite the shoes and the handbags.

When I got back from work it fell excited and happy it was very lovely. It came with me to my bed to watch TV with me after slept.

It didn't like to sleep in her bed. But it had to sleep in her bed. Every morning it came to my room and make noise. Oh my God it was beautiful.

I love and remember my dog.

Her name was Pepita.

Martha Salazar


My Happy Day

weddingMy name is Roselys. Today is Saturday. I was invited to A wedding. My friend from Honduras got married. They were married in a beaurtiful church. The food was delicious and tha music was very nice too. After that I went to a birthday party. I had so much fun.


A Few Words...

If I had a million dollars, I will go on vacations to Europe, but right now I will be in Beijing, China seeing the Olympics.


I came for English class. I have two children. My son is in America; my daughter is in my country. I live in America for ten years. I want to help my son at school.


I like to learn English because to get a better job, I need money to send to my family. I have many family is very poor.



How to survive in a foreign country


To live in a foreign country is not easy. I came to the United States few years ago. Since I live here, I had been through different experiences. First all of, learn the language. Secondly, to have knowledge about its cuture. Thirdly, how to deal with the weather.

The Language is a very important tool to communicate with others. Learning another language is difficult for foreigners. For example, when I came to this country I felt frustrated with the language because I had pretty hard time to understand what the people were telling me. Many times I used my seven year old son to speak for me. By that time, I wasn’t happy because I couldn’t explained myself. Most of the time, I felt that I did not belong to the society. Even hough, I was educated in my country. In order to survive in this ountry, I stared to learn English by myself. I brought an English and Spanish book for my country. For about 3 months I was practicing English everyday. I learned a lot vocabulary but I was afraid to speak English. I never forgot my first conversation in English with an American person who helped my a lot. That day I was very embarrassed and I shaked. My voice was very softly because I was afraid to pronounce the words wrongly. I have been through good and bad experiences with the language. The good experiences are happiness in my life. The bad experiences are improving my English skills to success in this country.

Luz Stella Segura
May 2005


The Traffic

The traffic in this country is very interesting because the people have many kinds of transportation, especially in the city. I think it is good, but it has other problems when people come out of their jobs. Too many people want to move for their homes and be early there.

So many cars wait for a traffic light change and a school bus stop in front and back. Everybody has to wait for the children to cross the street.

Traffic LightI know in the state of New Jersey there is less than in New York where there are too many cars, too many people, and too many taxis. They drive faster and they want to arrive some place quickly.

We need to take a careful look at traffic signals. If we don’t see these maybe we have an accident and some people can be hurt. We will put the person who caused the accident in jail if he broke the law.

May 2005


If I Could Read...

If I knew how to read my life would change.
I could help not only myself but others.
That is not only my way but God’s way.
So it’s very important for me to do my best.

March 2005


My Hands

My hands are beautiful
beautiful part of my body.
I can not imagine me without of my hands.Seedling in Hands
Hands that work hard
Hands that help me to put things together, to fix
something, to write, to
My hands have ability to
create and design things.
My hands are the most
valuable part of my life.
Hands that carried my baby and give him the most gently tenderness.
I love my hands.

Luz Stella Segura
May 2005


Book Reviews

Glasses in book

Title: Rosa Parks
Author: Muriel L. Dubois

Rosa Parkes was a hard working woman who tried to help people. She experienced many things and tried to do everything right. In 1955, she lived in Montgomery, Alabama. African Americans and White Americans were kept separate — segregated. They went to separate schools, used different doors to go in restaurants and could not sit together on buses — even though they paid their fare.

In 1955, Rosa rode the bus home from work. The bus driver told Rosa to give her seat to a white man. When Rosa refused, she was arrested. After Rosa’s arrest, African Americans in Montgomery topped using buses. They boycotted to show that not all Americans were treated equally. The bus boycott helped start a new interest in the fight for civil rights.

Rosa Parkes helped change things to make life easier for African Americans. There are good books about her in the library.

March 2005


Title: When Justice Failed
Author: Steven A. Chin

The title of the book I read is When Justice Failed. The author is Steven A. Chin. It was published by Steck-Vaughn and illustrated by David Tumara.

The main character is Fred Korematsu. He is Japanese-American. He lives with his family in Oakland, California. This story takes place in 1941 in the United States.

The problem in the story is that in 1941 the United States and Japan did not get along and they went to war. The government said that the Japanese-Americans were bad Americans and put them in jail until the war finished. The problem was solved 40 years later. Fred went to court and the judge said the United States was wrong to put Japanese-Americans in jail. His daughter was proud of him.

May 2005


Title: Homecoming
Author: Cynthia Voight

When I read this book Homecoming by Cynthia Voight I was so amazed by a little girls with so much courage, heart, and determination, to take care of her bothers and sister. On what amazed me she was only thirteen years old and left to care for herself and her two bothers and one sister

Dicey was so Loved by her bothers and sister. She never whated to be seperated. So Dicey went looking for family she never know.

Patrick Jess
May 2005


Observing Life Around Me


kittenIn my whole life I felt afraid and disgusted about the cats. Always when I went to visit someone and there was a cat and the people invited me to drink or eat something I said no thanks, I am full and if the cat brushed against me, I felt like I was going to died; but now since I share my home with Mr. Morgan and Miss Emmy, these are the names of my cats, they made me change my mind. I love them to the point that I let them stay in my bed. The cats are very smart, clean and independent because they take care of themselves. They like more to play and are surefooted and like to feel love. I am living a wonderful experience with them.

March 2005



PassportMy name is Rosario, I am from Santo Domingo of the Colorados, Ecuador. One month ago, I went to Newark because I had an Interview to citizenship. When I was in Immigration Service I saw many people sat from different countries in the sitting room, I was sitting also. I felt nervous and I was studying citizenship questions, later in 40 minutes the officer call me, She said to me you are welcome at the Immigration Service. Then, said to me swear you say all true in the interview. I answered yes. She said to me sit please, later she asked to me about my personal information many questions forExample, Where are you live, Where are you from, how many year live herer etc. My body was sweating. I felt hot, it was to nervous, then she ask me six questions of civics and I answered all right, later she dictated two sentences those were.

I have three children.

The Constitution is the Supreme Law.

She saw my sentences, then said to me, “you past the test-congratulations.” I felt very happy because I passed and now I’m a citizen.

May 2005


Getting a Job

I want to thank you for helping me accomplish some of my goals, and I want to continue to work harder each day. I came to America 5 years ago so I could take advantage of the opportunities that America offers, Before I came to America I believd I could come here and get a good job. What I learned after I got to America is that good jobs. are hard to find and that you need an education to get a good job. Life in America is expensive and costs a lot of money, not having and education made getting a job difficult because I could not read to be able to fill out a job application. So my life was very hard and I try my best.

May 2005

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