Friday, January 11th @ 7pm
RAVE ON! is a band that features the music of Buddy Holly,
playing such hits as; That'll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Not
Fade Away, Oh Boy, It's So Easy and Rave On! along with
other classic early Rock & Roll songs.
Come listen and dance to the music that paved the way
for Rock & Roll and influenced The Beatles, The Rolling
Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and countless other
English Conversation (ESL) Thrives at the library!
The English Conversation class has become one of the most successful
programs offered at the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library. Last spring
the class registered twenty-six English language learners, most of
whom attended all sixteen lessons! The students came from countries
all over the globe – China, Egypt, India, Russia, Mexico, and
Uzbekistan, just to name a few. Fall classes began a couple of weeks
ago and are proving to be just as popular as the spring classes.
These classes would not be possible without the hard work of some very dedicated volunteers.
Michele Meany, a retired ESL teacher in the Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District,
started the classes in 2009 along with Mary Kissane, a retired reading teacher from the district.
As the class size has grown, so has the number of volunteers. There are now six dedicated
teachers working with the students each week. Maria Bardowell, who was born in Jamaica and
worked in a NYC accounting firm until her retirement, joined Michele and Mary two years
ago. Kathy Olsen, who recently retired as principal at the Matawan Aberdeen Middle School,
Ruth Prata, a retired Presbyterian Nursery school teacher, and Elizabeth Palermo, who spent
a year studying in Mexico, began volunteering this year.
When a new student joins the class, Michele welcomes them and chats
with them to determine whether they are a basic beginner (knows no
English), a beginner (knows a little English – maybe studied English
for a year or two at home), intermediate (studied for several years,
but has difficulty understanding spoken English), or advanced (speaks
pretty well but needs help in speaking and understanding more
complicated English idioms and slang).
The students work in small groups based on their level. Maria usually works with the
basic beginners teaching them vocabulary. This year, Elizabeth is working with beginning
Spanish speakers. Last spring, Elizabeth’s group of advanced speakers, mostly a younger
group close to her age, often continued their conversations at Starbucks after class.
Mary is working with the advanced speakers this fall. Kathy, Ruth, and Michele work with
the other students, grouping them according to their needs. The class uses bilingual
picture dictionaries and other workbooks provided by the library. However, shopping ads
and newspaper articles also serve as popular materials for discussions on topics such
as family, health, American holidays, and places of interest in New Jersey. The volunteers
work hard to keep the program informal and friendly so the students can relax and enjoy
themselves while learning.
The English Conversation classes are held at the library every Wednesday at 7:00 pm.
Because of the students desire to continue learning, the tutors will extend the sessions
through December 19, but there will be no class on October 31. Classes are discontinued
in the cold/snowy months of January and February and will resume again for two 8 week
sessions in March and April. No pre-registration required for the class.
Genealogy Club Takes a Trip to Ellis Island
The Genealogy Club traveled to Ellis Island on Thursday,
July 12, 2012 for the sole purpose of seeing Barbara
Verdon Plock’s grandfather’s name on the American
Immigrant Wall of Honor. Her grandfather sailed to America
in 1882 from Dublin, Ireland along with his older brothers.
The inscription was a Christmas gift from Mrs. Plock’s husband
and daughter and this would be her first time viewing it.
While Mrs. Plock was searching for her family’s inscription,
two of the other club members, Ida Torelli Bruno, and her
daughter, Christina Timmons, stumbled across the names of
Ida’s grandparents, who came to America from Larina, Italy.
Ms. Bruno had no idea her grandparent’s names were on the
wall; it was as if they were just waiting there to be discovered!
Family means everything to Mrs. Plock, as it does to other
members of the club, so she was thrilled when she finally located
her grandfather’s name, Christopher Michael Verdon, engraved
in the wall. The Ellis Island trip was also attended by Lisa
Bartley, Bettie O’Leary, Morris Goldman, and Diane Oliver,
co-founder of the Genealogy Club.
Mrs. Plock and Ms. Oliver began the Genealogy Club two years
ago when a few people from Matawan were looking for a place
to get together to share their genealogy search success
stories as well as learn additional organizational strategies
from others. Anyone with an interest in genealogy and a desire
to learn more about their ancestors is welcome to attend the
meetings. To get started with your search you will need a
three ring binder with heavyweight sheet protectors as well
as copies of any vital records (birth, marriage, and death
records) you have available. You should also bring your
sense of humor, kindness, and a willingness to help others.
The group meets the first Thursday evening on the month at
7:00 pm. They will be meeting at the Matawan Women’s Club
clubhouse (199 Jackson St.) for the next few months while
the library undergoes renovations. Please send an email to
more information if you are interested in attending.