The Anne Arundel County Literacy Council will hold its “Literacy Lights the Way” 5K walk-a-thon on October 7th on the B&A Trail between Marley Station Mall and Jumpers Hole Road in Glen Burnie.  This is the same location as last year. The $25 registration ($10 for Literacy Council students and free for all youth 16 years of age or younger) includes a commemorative t-shirt.

Student Success: Chenel Moore

September 18, 2017

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Tutor Angelia Shields and Chenel Moore

My math student, Chenel Moore, went to Anne Arundel Community College today and registered for College Algebra.  That was the goal that Chenel and I set – keeping in mind that she had to be algebra-ready to take the class and feel confident that she could do well in it.

We’ve spent hours at Glen Burnie Library and Panera Bread-Glen Burnie preparing for this moment.  While we were preparing, we formed a wonderful friendship where she knows that I have her back, not just with math, but with anything.  And, I told her in the very beginning that she will say math is fun when we are done, so we’re working toward that goal.  We had some goal-based incentives we reached and we celebrated when we reached them. She’ll be confident and prepared.  It was a huge step for her to pay that money today and have confidence in herself to register.

  My heart is full because I know that we made a difference in Chenel’s life.  She couldn’t afford a math tutor and college, and it’s because of AACLC that she didn’t have to choose.
~ Tutor Angela Shields


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Student Jessia Fumando and tutor John Carley

Since April, John has been tutoring Jess twice a week at a local library. Despite juggling three jobs, Jess is committed to finding time for her academic studies. Although she has faced many difficulties while working towards her high school diploma, Jess stresses that “as long as you’re committed, it is possible.”

Jess’s childhood was difficult. “I grew up in foster care, in group homes, and was passed around for most of my school years” Jess explains. “My stability ended when I was thirteen, so school ended for me when I was around eleven or twelve years old.” When she became an adult, “School was not a priority” she explained. “When I was seventeen years old, I had my own apartment and I had to pay for it.  Work was my priority.”

In the following years, Jess moved several times. She eventually decided to get a high school diploma, so she signed up for a virtual classroom. She passed all of her classes, received her diploma, and was told by the school that she was a high school graduate.

When Jess moved to Maryland, she started classes at a local college. However, she soon realized that the school was not giving her all of the financial aid she expected. When she discussed the problem with college administrators, she received an unexpected shock. “They said the diploma that I brought to them was not accredited. I had to go get my GED in order to receive financial aid.”

Not discouraged, Jess set about studying for her GED. She began attending group GED classes but said that the teaching style and group environment did not work well for her. It was at this point that Jess reached out to the Anne Arundel Literacy Council.

Jess has enjoyed having John as a tutor, saying he is “great” and appreciates the individual attention she gets during one-on-one tutoring. “I can say specifically ‘I’m not understanding this.'” she explains. “Then he can break it down for me in a different way so I’m able to understand.”

-Written by Trevor Stern

Tutor Spotlight: Sharon Jollie

September 12, 2017

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Tutor Sharon Jollie

Life often throws “curve balls” at us or we are faced with circumstances that lead us down a path.   When that happens we are forced to make choices and navigate our paths.   Maybe because I moved a lot as a child and had lived in 22 homes by the time I was 27 I felt a calling to teach and work with people to improve their situations.   I don’t know exactly why I pursued education but eventually, it led me down a path of teaching math, obtaining a master’s degree in adult education, and recently volunteering as a math tutor for the Literacy Council of AA county.

  My path converged with a lovely 32-year-old woman who had not been able to complete high school, had married and had three children, battled with some health issues, but made the decision to become a model for her children by working to complete the last portion of the GED test – MATH.   We worked together for several weeks and she decided to take the test.   She missed passing by 1 point.   But, because she was a patient, capable, and a determined woman she continued to meet with me.   We decided to work through the algebra and geometry sections at a slower pace and work for understanding.

  The day came once again when she would take the test and this time she passed the math portion with a strong score.   She had conquered.   She had pushed that obstacle to the side and walked away with pride for her accomplishment.   I received the text with the news and literally shouted “Wahoo!” to my living room.   I was proud of what we had accomplished as a team.   I miss her.   We had a friendship developing, but I also know there is another person who might benefit from the program so likely our paths will diverge.

  To my first student…..I am proud of you!   I wish you continued success.   I think you are a wonderful mother and wife and I wish you only good things on the next path you choose to follow.

-Sharon Jollie

Student Spotlight: Deborah Bias

September 10, 2017

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Student Deborah Bias with her Laubach Way to Reading 3 Certificate

Each class makes a difference, as Deborah Bias, tutor Jill Mischo’s hardest working pupil, can attest. Bias went 51 years without the ability to read.

 “My friend here taught me how to read and write,” Bias said with a smile as she put her arm around Mischo. “I catch the bus Mondays and Wednesdays to the Lighthouse and I met Jill there. I didn’t know what she looked like, but I saw her smile and I knew that had to be her.”

Bias started with the first Laubach book, learning words like bird and fish. In four months, Mischo guided her through that and onto the second book, and tougher vocabulary including father, skirt, and curtains. Bias uses flashcards to help memorize the terms and takes home stories that are assigned reading.

“Deborah takes the story home, and she’ll read it to her son and to herself,” Jill noted. “I’m thrilled because she works so hard. It’s a joy every session.”

 -Written by Zach Sparks

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Bob Laubach and Lisa Vernon

Please grab your calendars and reserve Saturday, October 7th from 8:30 – 11 a.m. for our Second Annual Literacy Council Walkathon.

“Literacy Lights the Way” is again the theme for the walkathon, which is open to all and will be held on the beautiful B & A Trail between Marley Station Mall and Jumpers Hole Road in Glen Burnie.

Free snacks, prizes, and fun for the entire family! We hope you will join us. Dress yourself, your children, and/or your leashed pets as your favorite book character to compete for prizes.

The $25 registration ($10 for Literacy Council students and free for all youth 16 years of age or younger) includes a commemorative t-shirt.

Please also take a moment to “meet” several of our tutors and students in other posts on this blog. Their passion and determination to succeed is inspirational and beautifully illustrates why we do what we do at the Literacy Council.

Kind regards,

Lisa Vernon, Executive Director

Lisa Vernon, Executive Director
Anne Arundel County Literacy Council
301-523-6750 (cell)

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2016 Literacy Lights the Way Walkathon

“Literacy Lights the Way”

5K walkathon

Saturday, October 7 from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

From left to right: Bob Stoner, Anita Ewing, Wendell Williams, and Mary Ann Stoner at the 2016 Walkathon

Free snacks! Prizes!
Leashed Pets Welcome.

The Anne Arundel County Literacy Council will hold its second annual “Literacy Lights the Way” 5K walkathon on Saturday, October 7 from 8:30 to 11 a.m.  We hope you will join us! Last year’s walkathon – our first – was a great success. We want to increase the number of participants this year, which marks the 40th anniversary of the Literacy Council.

We will walk on the beautiful B&A Trail between Marley Station Mall and Jumpers Hole Road in Glen Burnie. You are encouraged to dress as your favorite book character to compete for prizes!

  • $25 registration (includes a commemorative t-shirt)
  • $10 registration fee for Literacy Council students and all youth 16 and under (includes t-shirt)

FOR DONATIONS ONLY:  Anne Arundel County Literacy Council 2nd Annual 5K Walk-a-thon Donation Page.

Welcome, New Math Tutors!

August 22, 2017

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Stephanie Anderson
Mary Austin
Caitlin Bean
Marcella Belser
Don Callow
John Carley
Merlene Clarke
Amanda Clouser
Elizabeth Davis
Lynette Delprete
Phyllis Emmett
Susann Felton
Dan Fox
Deena Fujimoto
Perinaaz Gandhi
Cathy Grayson
Michael Green
Quinika Hawkins
Dave Houston
Karla Johnson
Sharon Jollie
Donna Kurrle
Fran Kushner
Kathy Lang
Lanesha Levert
Marcus Levert
Ken Liddick
Sharon Manganello
Dan Milleville
Ann Mills
Bob Mondor
Dana Nance
Ellen Riley
Eveline Robbins
Pete Schanck
Angella Shields
Susan Shillenn
Kathleen Sievers
Des Smith
Larry Smith
Trevor Stern
Shirley Theimer
Deborah Turner
Ayesha Waheed
Scott Warner
Angela-Jo Wetzel


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Tutor Shirley Theimer and Lamere Walton

Congrats to Lamere Walton and to tutor Shirley Theimer! Lamere earned his GED in July and plans to enroll in computer science at AACC in the fall. Shirley praised Lamere’s focus and his determination to succeed.

“There are only two conditions in life.  We either find ourselves in a position where we need to reach out for help, or we are in a position to reach out our hand to help someone else.  The important thing to remember is that we don’t succeed alone, and help is always there if we but ask for it.” ~ Tutor Shirley Theimer.

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Tutor Pete Schanck and student Johnetta Jones


Johnetta is working with tutor Pete Schanck to prepare for her GED math test this summer. She is enjoying her lessons and reports that “I used to hate math but now I am really enjoying it!” Pete shares that Johnetta has the logical mind of a computer and is a rapid learner. Her sister has seen Johnetta’s enthusiasm for her lessons and now wants to earn her GED!

Once Johnetta passes the GED her plans are to enroll in courses to become an esthetician, then get a job on a cruise ship where she can travel the world.