People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos

Lawrence Township, New Jersey, USA


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Arts & Culture Diversity & Inclusion Education


People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos is dedicated to opening doors to literature for new audiences. Through oral readings and rigorous discussions of enduring short stories, we invite underserved participants to fresh understandings of themselves, of others, and of the world.

What We Do

People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos programs create an enjoyable and enriching experience with literature for those who have limited ability, opportunity or motivation to read independently.

Most of our participants are reading at or below a fifth grade level, have not completed high school, are economically disadvantaged, and are often in difficult circumstances. Participants are recruited within community centers and social service organizations that serve minority, ethnic, elderly, or disadvantaged populations.

People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos enters non-traditional "classrooms" and sparks a love of reading and learning in those who, in many cases, have not succeeded in school. Those who previously thought that a public, formal, educational discussion would be intimidating are surprised by the relaxed, supportive, non-threatening atmosphere created by our method for conducting the dialogues. Therefore, the reading and discussion of complex texts becomes a pleasurable experience.

In total, our program serves about 1,000 individuals each year through approximately 35 partnering organizations. Grants from foundations and federal and state government agencies, as well as contributions from individuals, support our partnerships with community organizations to enhance wrap-around services for individuals in transition.

Of the 400+ adult learners that were surveyed in 2018:
86% reported wanting to read MORE after our program.
84% are more confident in their reading ability.
92% agreed that they learned more about themselves, others, and the world.
95% were glad that they participated.


Andrea H.

Volunteer Manager

Cheyenne W
Cheyenne W.

Executive Director