Literate Women Change The World

September 16, 2019

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#Literacy is a fundamental right for all—including women

According to @WorldLiteracy 2/3 of the world’s illiterate adults are women. Literate women are better able to manage their own businesses, combat some causes of maternal and child mortality, and educate their children. – OpenDoor4Literacy

“Newly literate women have a positive ripple effect on all development indicators.” ~ Irina Bokova, former Director General, UNESCO

Tutor Spotlight: Pat Baker

September 13, 2019

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Tutor Pat Baker


I lived in New York for many years and most of my working career was in higher education, which focused not only on teaching, but also on program development. Having recently relocated to Maryland as well as newly retired, I was looking for something to do. That something turned out to be the Literacy Council.

It was my husband’s interest in the organization that initially piqued my interest. So, we both went to the tutor training and I was paired with Felita Thompson. As they say, “The rest is history.”

Felita and I have been working together for just about 11 months. Most of our time is focused on reading books and analyzing the storylines and characters. Felita is close to completing her 11th book. She is a remarkable student, and I sometimes “run” to catch up with her reading. As Felita related to me, “Being literate is so important because it gives you independence.” She certainly makes a good point considering Frederick Douglass said something very similar, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

Frederick Douglass quote about reading

Speak to your #iPad

This is an interesting article by Educational Software and Dyslexia Specialist Mike Jones. Learn how speech-to-text works. It could be invaluable for people with #dyslexia.  His article includes instructions on how to set up your iPad for dictation.

Click here to read the article.

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Felita Thompson


“Felita Thompson is a homemaker who previously worked in construction jobs, and for 13 years she was a supervisor at NIH for cage washing and a caregiver for animals.

As a very young student, Felita did not like school and specifically did not like reading aloud. Although she graduated from high school, she considered herself a slow reader and believed that being dyslexic inhibited her learning. As Felita stated, “What drives me is life and reading on a higher level.”

It was in October 2018 that Felita Thompson and I met. I am a volunteer with the Literacy Council and Felita was my assigned student. At our first meeting, Felita told me she wanted to “become a better reader” to achieve her goal of owning her own furniture-making business. When asked what books she read, she mentioned she didn’t read any books other than the Bible.

At each of our subsequent meetings, we worked through some grammar, reading, and writing exercises. Felita gained confidence in her writing and reading skills, so we broadened our resources and included newspaper articles and books.

The first book Felita selected to read was “The Book Thief,” which is over 400 pages long. At each of our weekly meetings, Felita was given written questions to answer about the book. The following week we would review her answers, but she had to read them aloud first, and then we would work on her written answers. Within a month Felita completed “The Book Thief.” As Felita noted, “To better myself is to better my family.”

Over the ten months we have been working together, Felita has completed ten books! Some are controversial in nature. Some are enduring love stories. Some demonstrate the complexities of human nature. Some are just as meaningful today as when they were first written. And, some are just good reads.

AACLC Tutor Pat Baker

Tutor Pat Baker

In addition, Felita’s writing skills have improved in that she writes more descriptive paragraphs, her reading speed has increased, and in her own words, “I now enjoy reading.” Felita’s comprehension level, as she describes it “is now enhanced.”

Felita mentioned that she “may still mix up letters and sentences,” but there is no doubt she is an extremely enthusiastic and persevering learner. She has clearly demonstrated that dyslexia is not a deterrent to the enjoyment of reading. As someone once said, “In order to become a better reader, one must read.” That is exactly what Felita Thompson is doing thanks to the Literacy Council.”

Tutor Pat Baker


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You will love meeting Felita and her tutor Pat Baker in our September newsletter (If you’re not on our newsletter list, put your email in the box in the left sidebar).

Felita came to the Literacy Council eleven months ago to improve her reading and writing skills as she works towards her goal of owning her own furniture-making business. As Felita noted in the post about her, “To better myself is to better my family.” Felita’s tutor Pat Baker shares what initially drew her to the Literacy Council to volunteer and how tutoring Felita has impacted her life.

If you have a passion for reading or math and want to make a positive difference in another person’s life and in your community, please contact AACLC by calling 410-269-4419 or emailing and be trained as a volunteer tutor. Information on our October 5th tutor training opportunity is shared below.

Please also join us on October 19th for AACLC’s 4th Annual Family Literacy 5K Walk-a-Thon! There will be a DJ, free face painting for kids, and Clifford the Dog will be giving out treats and prizes for all kids and dogs participating in the walkathon. There will also be free snacks and drinks for everyone attending. This will be a great way for families to start the school year by celebrating family literacy together! You won’t want to miss it. More details of this fun family event are HERE.

Warm regards,

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

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Great opportunity! Our next tutor training is scheduled for

Saturday, October 5th

  8:30 am to 5:30 pm 

Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church

Severna Park, MD 

and will include basic literacy, math,

and English Language Learner (ELL) instruction.

We have a class size limit of 35. If you, or someone you know, would be interested in attending this training, please email Lisa Vernon at or call 410-269-4419 as soon as possible to reserve a seat.

AACLC 2019 Tutors

Post image for Thank you, Koons Toyota Annapolis!
AACLC’s Board President, Vice President, and staff thanked Wendell Williams and Koons Toyota Annapolis for donating $5,000 as Executive Sponsor for AACLC’s October 19th, 2019 5K Walk-a-Thon. This fun family event begins at 8:30 a.m on the beautiful B & A Trail (Marley Station Mall trail entrance). Free face painting and prizes for kids, and snacks for all, including leashed pets! Register at or email for more information.
Post image for Koons Toyota of Annapolis is Executive Sponsor of 2019 Walk-A-Thon
A tremendous “Thank you” goes out to Koons Toyota Annapolis and Wendell Williams for donating $5,000 as an Executive Sponsor of our 2019 5K Literacy Lights the Way Walk-a-thon! Please stop by their showroom at 1107 West St. in Annapolis and thank them for their phenomenal support of our students and tutors.
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Please take a moment to “meet” Iris and Bryan, two of our inspirational students. Our students reach out for help with their literacy and math skills to achieve goals of landing a job/better-paying job, earning their GED, and improving their daily lives. Reading a bedtime story to your child, understanding warning labels on your children’s prescriptions, and balancing a checkbook are a few of the practical daily activities that adults master when improving their literacy and math skills.

If you have a passion for reading or math, are a lifelong learner, and want to make a positive difference in another person’s life and in your community, please contact AACLC by calling 410-269-4419 or emailing and be trained as a volunteer tutor. Information on our October 5th tutor training opportunity is HERE.

October 19th is our 2019 Annual Literacy Lights the Way 5K Family Walk-a-thon. This year, we want walkathon registrants to either register directly on our regular Donate page on our website (, or they can print out our brochure and mail their form and registration to our P.O. Box 1303 Edgewater, MD 21037 address.


We still need someone to help with our database maintenance. CLICK HERE for more information.

Please Like our AACLC Facebook page
and help us reach 500 Likes!

Warm regards,

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

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Tutor Bob Stone and Student Iris Herrarte


Each week for the past 3 years, AACLC tutor Bob Stoner has been meeting with Iris Herrarte at the Brooklyn Park Library for 2-hour tutoring sessions. They began in Book 1 of Laubach, and now three years later Iris is working on preparing for the GED using US history, math, science, and writing workbooks! Iris also continues to work on mastering English through further study in grammar workbooks.

Iris has had quite a journey over the last three years, from learning enough English to talk to her children’s teacher, to being able to translate for her friends. She has also recommended family members and friends to the AACLC to get help with their English.

Bob and Iris have taken breaks from academic study to do practical things like creating a resume and doing an online job hunt, getting her first credit card to build a credit history, and now Iris is looking into buying a house. Iris and Bob, along with the support of the AACLC, have been able to work together to make a positive difference in the Brooklyn Park community.