Newton The Even Start program at Project Self-Sufficiency offers more than just help with obtaining a GED. Eligible participants can receive free childcare, free transportation and free meals while they are making progress towards their goals. The program even offers a flexible schedule to accommodate working parents. Along the way, literacy is promoted within the entire family. The Even Start Family Literacy Program is housed in the former Pettit House on Project Self-Sufficiency’s campus in Newton. The home has been converted into areas for study, reading and counseling. There is even a separate Children’s Library on the premises, so that children can read to themselves while their parents work in an adjacent room. A certified instructor who is affiliated with the Sussex County Community College Learning Center guides participants through the process of obtaining their GED or with passing the college placement exam. At home, participants are required to read to their children, and to keep a log of their reading time. A Book Club requires parents to read a book at home and gather together as a group to discuss it as they progress through the story. Parent and Child Together Time is a component that encourages parents to play games with their children and participate in field trips with other Project Self-Sufficiency families. Once a month, all of the participating families troop over to the Little Sprouts Early Learning Center to participate in the Celebrity Reader program, an event which features an invited guest reading a book aloud to the entire group. Project Self-Sufficiency counselors visit participating families at home twice a month, bringing along books that are developmentally appropriate for the age of the children in the household. If the children are old enough, parents and children create a craft project to accompany the story they read together. If infants are involved, the counselor plays games with the child and parent which encourage language development. The program is funded in part by the New Jersey Department of Education Office of Language Arts Literacy Education. For information about participating in the Even Start Family Literacy Program, or to find out more about the other programs and services available at Project Self-Sufficiency, call the agency at 973-940-3500.