Kennedy Branch announces change in hours, additional program

The North Bergen Free Public Library & Learning Center Kennedy Branch, 2123 Kennedy Blvd., will now be open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., effective Nov. 4.
The Kennedy Branch will be offering an additional 10-week English for Beginners course beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. The workload will consist of studying vocabulary and completing homework.
Registration is currently under way. If interested, visit the reception desk. There is a $20 registration fee, which includes a dictionary, workbook, and flash cards.
For more information on the new hours or course, call (20) 869-4715, ext. 6.

Park Players ‘Wizard of Oz’ production weekends of Nov. 8-10 & 15-17

“Go off to see the Wizard, the wonderful ‘Wizard of Oz.’ ” At The Church of the Good Shepherd, 1576 Palisade Ave., Fort Lee, that is.
That’s where The Park Players, formerly of The Park Theatre in Union City and Weehawken,
are staging their newest production, “The Wizard of Oz,” on Nov. 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 10 and 17 at 5 p.m.
The performance includes many residents and former residents of Hudson County, including North Bergen, Guttenberg, and Union City.
Ticket prices are $16, $14 (students/seniors), and $12 (groups of 10 or more).
For reservations, call (201) 941-6030. Tickets can also be purchased by visiting or the Players’ website,

Fish and chips benefit at Grove Reformed Church

Grove Reformed Church will hold its annual Fish and Chips Dinner on Nov. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the church, 46th Street and Kennedy Blvd.
Tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for children under 9 years old. All proceeds go to the college scholarship fund.
The dinner will be held in the church house, behind the church. Enter for parking off of 46th Street.
For more information, call (201) 863-7030 or visit

Child advocate group holds informational session on Nov. 12

Are you interested in helping children in the foster care system? If so, Hudson County CASA (court appointed special advocate) is recruiting volunteers to advance the best interests of abused and neglected children.
An informational session, addressing the program and the role of its volunteers, will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 12, from 6 to 7 p.m. in Room 400 of the Hudson County Administration Building, 595 Newark Ave., Jersey City.
CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Its volunteers speak for children in court, serve as fact finders for judges, and safeguard children’s interests while they are in the foster care system.
Hudson County has nearly 700 children in foster care; most have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.
For more information, call (201) 795-9855, e-mail or visit

Hudson Learning Center seeking votes

The Hudson Learning Center, a local education and tutoring center, has applied for a $250,000 grant from Chase as part of a newly launched program, Mission Main Street Grants, and is seeking your helping in getting it.
The center must submit a questionnaire outlining a business plan that will result in growth of the business and receive at least 250 votes to be eligible for the monies.
Customers, supporters, and community members can show support for the center by voting at using Facebook Connect. The deadline is Nov. 15, 2013.
The Hudson Learning Center’s mission is to provide affordable learning solutions to the urban community.

Garden State Episcopal Community Development Center and PERC announce merger

In a major move between two Hudson County nonprofits, Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation (GSECDC) of Jersey City and Palisades Emergency Residence Corp. (PERC) of Union City announced their alignment on Oct. 24. Under the terms of agreement, PERC is now a subsidiary of GSECDC.
“GSECDC and PERC are a great fit, and we are committed to growing our common mission,” said Carol Mori, now executive director of both agencies. “Our merger will improve services to all of the people we serve, creating a stronger continuum of caring, which leads from emergency relief to housing stability.”
Since 1986, GSECDC continues to be a regional leader in affordable housing development, social services, and supportive housing. Founded in 1981, PERC is Hudson County’s first homeless shelter. PERC provides emergency shelter, a soup kitchen, food pantry, and other social services, including PERC Kids Homework Club.
The Rev. Birgit Solano, past president of the PERC Board of Trustees, said the idea for the merger began more than two years ago when the agency was struggling financially with reduced federal and foundational support at a time of dramatically increasing need.
“The board met to explore options and concluded that its primary duty was to ensure the long term continuation of its mission,” Rev. Solano said.
“In the past four years, PERC nearly doubled the number of shelter nights provided, the number of meals served, and we have tripled the number of families receiving groceries through our food pantry,” Rev. Solano continued. “This merger will provide stability to PERC, and more importantly, improved services to the community.”
Mori said that the agencies worked closely for the last couple of years, leading to better client outcomes. “We are very excited about our future together. GSECDC continues to expand our housing and program services. North Hudson County is an important part of this strategy, and we will continue to provide the same or better levels of supportive services to this area.”

Palisades Medical Center holding community health screening

Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen partners with the North Hudson Community Action Corporation, Christ Hospital School of Nursing, and Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey to provide free health screenings and education programs.
The next of these events is Sunday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Church, 615 8th Street, Union City.
There will be free screenings and information on: blood pressure, heart rate, percentage of oxygen in the blood, peak flow/respiratory, body mass index, sugar, and cholesterol.
Palisades Medical Center’s community outreach and education programs are funded in part by the TD Charitable Foundation, Abbott Nutrition, the Aetna Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation, and Schering-Plough Corporation.
For more information, call Joanne Riggs at (201) 854-5793.

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