Post image for Student Success: Maria Pineda

Maria Elena Pineda


Congratulations to student Maria Elena Pineda who voted for the first time this year! She shared with us her thoughts on tutoring and becoming a U.S. citizen.

“It is a big dream of mine to become a U.S. citizen. It was a long road. My tutor (Karen Calhoun) and I started studying for the civics test in 2019, and I took the oath of citizenship in July 2020. Together, Karen and I made it happen. We both worked hard—I studied many hours, and she patiently explained and adapted the lessons to make sure I could understand and remember them. Karen has become an important person in my life. She is not just my tutor, she is my friend as well. I trust her, and she has helped me trust myself, to know and have confidence that I can achieve my dreams.” — Maria Elena Pineda

Many thanks to Maria’s tutor, Karen Calhoun — a Literacy Council volunteer since 2017!

Post image for Giving Tuesday 2020 on December 1

December 1, 2020

This year, please remember
Anne Arundel County Literacy Council

TWO generous donors will DOUBLE your donation up to $3,000!
If you haven’t submitted your AACLC Membership donation and would like to do so now, this is a great opportunity.

You can give through

AACLC’s donate page

OR by check.

Mail to: AACLC, P.O. Box 1303, Edgewater, MD 21037

Giving Tuesday logo

Post image for Thank you for your Thanksgiving Meal help

1st Baptist Church and the Good Time Gang Provided 31 Delicious Thanksgiving Meal Boxes for AACLC Students and Their Families

Thank you — 1st Baptist Church in Glenarden, pastor John Jenkins and his wife Trina, the Good Time Gang in Gambrills, and Lee Goode a.k.a. DJ Dynasty for generously providing 31 Thanksgiving meal boxes with turkeys and bottled waters for low-income Literacy Council students throughout Anne Arundel County!

Each student received a frozen turkey along with a box containing macaroni and cheese, diced potatoes, diced sweet potatoes, mixed greens, mixed vegetables, cut green beans, and a holiday pie — bottled waters too!

Literacy Council Crew

Happy Thanksgiving

November 27, 2020

Post image for Happy Thanksgiving

We are so thankful for the generosity and kindness of the First Baptist Church in Glenarden, Pastor John Jenkins and his wife Trina, Lee Goode a.k.a. DJ Dynasty, and the Good Time Gang in Gambrills! They provided 31 boxes of delicious Thanksgiving food for our AACLC students last Saturday. Literacy Council staff and tutors delivered the boxes to low-income students throughout Anne Arundel County.

This challenging year, more than ever, we are grateful for our tutors, volunteers, students, and friends from our county and beyond. Your time, energy, and support mean the world to us as we collectively work to improve lives and impact our community.

Two of our generous AACLC supporters and donors will match donations up to $3,000 this year for #GivingTuesday on December 1! If you haven’t submitted your AACLC membership donation yet and would like to do so, this is a great opportunity. You can donate this year on our AACLC website or by check and either option will qualify to be doubled!

Happy Thanksgiving,
Jane Seiss, Executive Director AACLCJane Seiss, Executive Director
Anne Arundel County Literacy Council
410-926-5797 (cell)
Post image for Student Congratulations: TaArmo McGowan

U.S. Army LogoStudent congratulations!

Our congratulations to student TaArmo McGowan! After working with tutor John Carley, TaArmo passed the ASVAB test and is making plans to enlist in the US Army.

We are working with the Army Recruiting Stations in Annapolis and Glen Burnie to tutor students who are working towards passing the ASVAB, a military entrance exam.

Tutoring Via Skype

November 15, 2020

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Tutor Sue Tafler

Tutor Sue Tafler

Jenna Yim and I started meeting in February at the Crofton Library while her son was at kindergarten. Then coronavirus shut everything down!

We have continued to meet on Skype while her son is on another computer in first grade.

Jenna studied English during her school years in South Korea and she even studied nursing in Nevada, graduating in 2009. But then as a US Army spouse, she ended up living in Japan, Okinawa, and South Korea. Jenna’s husband is now stationed at Fort Meade so they are living in Gambrills.

AACLC Student Jenna

AACLC Student Jenna

While her English is still pretty good, Jenna knows she needs practice to be able to use English every day. (Jenna and her husband mostly speak Korean at home as well as at church.) She wants to be able to speak confidently with neighbors and her son’s teachers, to read fluently, and to write easily in English.

During our weekly sessions, we make sure to allow time for conversations. Jenna has just finished Challenger book 3, where she has found idioms and common expressions the most challenging to read, as well as words that are spelled the same but mean different things. We just started Challenger book 4!

I have been assigning Jenna one-page personal essays so she can practice expressing herself in writing. She scans her handwritten piece and sends it to me attached to an email, and then I mark it up with corrections and suggestions and send a new scan to her by email so we can go over it at our next Skype session.

I look forward to when Jenna and I can sit next to each other at the library!

Post image for We’re Part of the Maryland Charity Campaign!

Anne Arundel County Literacy Council is participating in the Maryland Charity Campaign. MCC is a workplace charitable giving program, providing MD State Employees/Retirees the opportunity to support causes they care about. October 5 – December 14, visit and click on “Give Now” to participate. Our MCC charity code is 52-1479101.

Thank you for your support!

Post image for Thank you, Koons Toyota Annapolis!

We received a generous donation from Koons Toyota of Annapolis in October. Vice President Wendell Williams arranged a gift of $5,000 from the West Street dealership.

Thank you!

Conversations in Color Recap

November 10, 2020

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The beautiful Shangri La by Anita Ewing


Did you know that Conversations in Color was sparked by artist Marcia DeFalco? She generously donated 38 pieces to the sale to kick start our event. Sixteen artists joined Marcia in supporting our mission with their generosity — thank you local art community! We are also grateful to our Conversations in Color sponsor, Sandy Spring Bank.

The beautiful artwork that we used to promote the event was sold in our art sale. Longtime AACLC volunteer, Anita Ewing, donated her watercolor Shangri La, and it found a home with one of our tutor-assessors.

Special thanks to Lisa Vernon and AACLC volunteers Anita Ewing, Catie Comer, Drew Thimmesch, and Alec Bayne, as well as our staff for all of their help!


Post image for Director’s Message November 2020

Our first-ever virtual art sale was a success! Many thanks to the artists and donors who contributed. We raised over $2,300 to support AACLC’s free tutoring programs.

In other virtual news, we continue to train new tutors in this time of remote learning. Through ProLiteracy, the international adult literacy organization, we have access to online training modules. Since the spring, we have trained more than 30 new tutors.

Eight of our ten laptops are currently loaned to students so that they may connect with tutors, lessons, and resources. Smartphones have also been useful — many of our students do not have access to technology or the internet, thank you for your patience as we work hard to find ways to match tutors with students.

Please stay tuned to the Literacy Council’s Facebook page and our Instagram. We will continue to share news and updates there. We’re on Twitter and LinkedIn too.


Jane Seiss, Executive DirectorJane Seiss, Executive Director
Anne Arundel County Literacy Council
410-926-5797 (cell)