Bernardsville Library Honors Volunteer of the Year Carola Stern
Bernardsville Public Library will honor long-time volunteer Carola Stern at a reception in the library hosted by the Board of Trustees on Sunday, September 25 at 2:00 pm. Ms. Stern has volunteered as a teacher and coordinator for the library’s on-going English-As-A-Second-Language (ESL) classes since 2005. A native of Finland, Ms. Stern has traveled extensively and lived abroad for many years before settling in the United States with her husband in 1999. In the fall of 2005, her Finnish friend Rita McMaster of L.E.A.R.N. Associates asked for her help in running Bernardsville Library’s ESL program. Ms. Stern ran the afternoon classes which, at that time met once a week, and Ms. McMaster continued to run the evening classes. By 2007, Ms. Stern had taken over coordination of all the classes and volunteer teachers. That year, the Library received a grant for the ESL program which enabled its expansion from two sessions one day a week to four sessions on two days. Ms. Stern herself is fluent in four languages and has studied several more. Since Finland is bilingual, she learned Finnish and Swedish as a child. She also speaks English and Bahasa Indonesian fluently having lived in Indonesia as a teenager when her father worked there. She has studied French, German, Spanish, and Japanese in school and Filipino when she lived in the Philippines for several years. Ms. Stern teaches children swimming at the YMCA including those with special needs. In 2004, she started teaching water exercise at Fellowship Village.