Monday, July 25, 2016

Master Gardeners Teach Children about Gardening and Nutrition

A group of Master Gardeners under the leadership of Claudia Kunath are continuing their education program at the Little Sprouts Early Learning Center with weekly Read & Weed sessions during the summer.  Volunteer gardeners gather the children to read a book and then all of the children troop into their own vegetable garden to water, weed and harvest produce.  The resulting bounty is taken home to share with their families.  The summer sessions supplement the group’s regular visits to the learning center which incorporate story time, puppets, crafts and most importantly, eating fruits and vegetables.  The New Jersey Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension in its mission to deliver horticulture programs and information to the general public.

“The Master Gardeners program at the Little Sprouts Early Learning Center is a wonderful example of an interactive educational program which benefits children and their families,” remarked Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency, the non-profit agency which oversees the Little Sprouts Early Learning Center.  “We are very grateful to the volunteers who take time out of their busy schedule to create this dynamic learning experience for our students.”

The Little Sprouts Early Learning Center is located on the Project Self-Sufficiency campus at 127 Mill Street in Newton.  The childcare center offers space for 83 youngsters, ages 6 weeks to 6 years, and accepts all types of subsidized daycare assistance.  Slots for new students are available.  For more information visit the center’s website or call 973-940-3540. 
To learn more about the programs and services offered at Project Self-Sufficiency, visit or call 973-940-3500.

Friday, July 15, 2016

College Assistance Information Sessions Offered

Information sessions regarding the Campus to Campus initiative offered by Project Self-Sufficiency in conjunction with Sussex County Community College will be held in August.  Free child care, basic skills testing, counseling, campus tours, test anxiety support, access to financial aid and scholarships, and other services are available through the program.  Interested adults are invited to attend Information Sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, August 2nd and 4th, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; or August 9th and 11th, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; or from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on August 2nd and 9th.

The Campus to Campus program is designed to help potential students overcome the challenges that are preventing them from taking the next steps towards college and a career.  These local women and men can include young adults who have never enrolled or older adults who did not attend college for a variety of reasons.  If assessment testing has been an obstacle, the College Board Accuplacer exam, a suite of tests which accurately assesses reading, writing, math and computer skills, can now be administered at Project Self-Sufficiency.

To register for a Campus to Campus Information Session, take the Accuplacer exam, or to find out more about the programs and services offered by Project Self-Sufficiency, visit or call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Project Family Connect Celebrates First Anniversary

Sussex Warren Project Family Connect is marking its first anniversary of giving Sussex and Warren County residents easier access health care and other services.  The service is provided by Project Self-Sufficiency through a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health.  The one-stop source for information links individuals to medical, educational and social services which can enhance their overall health and quality of life.  Since the program’s inception in July, 2015, the agency has received 1,800 calls requesting assistance, and placed 2,151 calls for referrals to service on behalf of those in need.  Local residents who need assistance are invited to call the toll free number, 844-807-3500, for help with questions regarding health care, education, housing, utilities and other needs.

The new initiative is a natural fit for Project Self-Sufficiency explains Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “Project Self-Sufficiency has referred local families to area resources for many years as part of our case management and home visitation services.  Unlike more generalized resources services, Project Family Connect ensures that specially trained workers follow up with each caller to make sure that their needs have been met and to determine whether or not they are in need of other services.  Project Family Connect promotes better overall health and well-being for the entire community, by connecting individuals and families to the resources they need.”

Specific functions of the Sussex Warren Project Family Connect program include connecting individuals and families to community resources for health care, maternal infant and early childhood home visitation programs, domestic violence shelters and support services; educational alternatives; family support programs; financial assistance; employment training; infant and child care; early intervention; referral to emergency housing and utility assistance services; as well as programs for senior citizens, veterans, and other community services and programs.

A comprehensive community resource guide is also in development.  The guide will be available online as well as in local social service agencies, healthcare providers, government offices, educational institutions and other venues.  For more information about the services available through Sussex Warren Family Connect at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 844-807-3500.

Project Self-Sufficiency is a community-based non-profit organization which specializes in services for low-income families in northwestern New Jersey.  Programs offered at Project Self-Sufficiency include family literacy education, computer training and job placement services, assistance with parenting skills, childcare, counseling and advocacy, referrals, and help with emergency basic needs.  For information about the programs and services offered by Project Self-Sufficiency, visit or call 973-940-3500.