Left to right:Mary Anne Stoner, tutor coordinator Anita Ewing, and Bob Stoner enjoy participating in the Literacy Council’s first Literacy Lights the Way walkathon, held last fall. Be sure to come dressed as one of your favorite book characters at our second walkathon, scheduled for next fall!
As Courtney Stoner, a George Washington University college freshman, was wrapping up her summer internship with the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council in 2013 she recalled an off-hand comment her parents had made. “We’ve always wanted to get involved with literacy tutoring,” Bob and Mary Anne Stoner had remarked.
Little did the Stoner family imagine that tutoring with the Literacy Council would soon turn into a family affair. Not long after Courtney sent her parents a link that enabled them to fill out online forms and eventually receive literacy training, Bob and Mary Anne were ready to meet their first students. Bob was teamed up with Iris, an English-as-a-Second Language (ESOL) student, while Mary Anne was matched with Iris’s cousin, Yulma.
Iris and Yulma are parents of young children and aim to hone their English speaking and writing skills so they can become more involved with their children’s education. They also want to be able to more effectively pursue job opportunities, and hopefully one day pass the GED.
Both Iris and Yulma are cheerful, hard-working, and attentive students. They’ve even encouraged other family members living in the Brooklyn Park area to take assessments and start working with tutors, too. Bob and Mary Anne are so impressed with their students that they’ve said “If only we could win the lottery and give up our day jobs! That way we could tutor all the members of this wonderful family.”
Until then, Bob and Mary Anne are hoping that other Literacy Council tutors can find time to spend with Iris and Yulma’s motivated relatives.