Post image for AACLC is 2020 Award-Winner!

We recently received the following exciting email message:

Congratulations! Anne Arundel County Literacy Council, Inc. has earned a spot on the 2020 Top Rated List! Your community has shared their inspiring stories about your work. We congratulate you on all of your accomplishments. 

You’ll be featured on our site, our 2020 Top-Rated List, and distributed to media and corporate foundations. The official 2020 Top-Rated List will be announced after October 31.

Be sure to use your new Top-Rated badge and share the good news.  Keep up the good work!

AACLC is one of the first winners of a 2020 Top-Rated Award from  GreatNonprofits, Read inspiring stories about us and add your own!


Support the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council with a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from Your IRA

QCDs satisfy the required minimum distribution for donors age 70-½ or older.

What is a qualified charitable distribution?

A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is a distribution of funds from your IRA (other than a SEP or SIMPLE IRA) directly to a qualified charitable organization, such as the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council. Because the gift goes directly to a charity without passing through your hands, it does not incur income tax. You can make QCDs totaling up to $100,000 each tax year.

To learn more about QCDs, please visit »

Who can make a qualified charitable distribution?

QCDs can be made by anyone age 70½ or older who is required to take minimum withdrawals from their IRA (other than a SEP or SIMPLE IRA). If you are subject to the required minimum distribution this year and do not need some or all of that money for personal use, consider making a QCD. You will satisfy your distribution requirement, not incur any tax obligations, and support the work of the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council all at the same time!

To learn more about eligibility, please visit »

How do I make a qualified charitable distribution to the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council?

Your QCD must be made directly from your IRA custodian to the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council on your behalf.

For more information, call our Executive Director, Lisa Vernon, at 410-269-4419 or use this website’s Contact Form today!

Post image for A Day At The National Portrait Gallery

My student and I share a love of art, so we decided to use one of our tutoring sessions to visit the National Portrait Gallery at 8th St NW in Washington, DC.

We traveled by the MARC train to Union Station. It was a sunny crisp day, so we walked to the gallery. Along the way, we heard the bells ring from the Robert Taft Carillon and saw the monument of General Meade. We visited Ford’s Theater and the Petersen House.

The Petersen House offers visitors an opportunity to see a three-story high stack of books written about our famous 16th president. Once at the portrait gallery we viewed an exhibit of Matthew Brady photographs of Civil War women, a special exhibit dedicated to the life of contralto Marian Anderson and the collection of presidential portraits.

My student was particularly interested in the portraits of Presidents Jackson, Monroe and Roosevelt. Venturing further into the gallery we had the opportunity to see the conservation and preservation department.

We spoke with a conservationist to better understand the work involved in repairing and safeguarding the art entrusted to the gallery. Our field trip afforded us the opportunity to discuss the art we were looking at and to enjoy a day of English as a Second Language lesson.

-Tutor Sandy Deeds

Post image for Student Success: Charlene Renaud
Left to right: April Cleckner, Charlene Renaud, and Bonnie Wright


Charlene expresses thanks and appreciation to tutor Bonnie Wright and her good friends and biggest supporters Bea Colesmith and April Cleckner who told her about the Literacy Council.

“Charlene has been my student for three years. She couldn’t read when we first started but was eager to learn and a hard worker. Charlene’s goal was to read her Bible in her Bible study group and she was quite motivated to succeed.

Charlene began by learning the letters of the alphabet and came to understand how the sounds of the letters combined to make words. Charlene made steady progress and her self-confidence grew. We tried to make learning relevant and had some happy victories along the way. One terrific example is the first time she was able to read a birthday card from her son!

Charlene Renaud, AACLC student

AACLC Student Charlene Renaud

Charlene can now read a menu in a restaurant and order what she wants. She can read street and building signs when she is out and understand the writing on items in a store when she is shopping. She reads the notices and signs posted by management in her building, and she can write her own checks.

Things most people would take for granted have been hard-won for Charlene. She is deservedly proud of meeting the challenges of the last three years and all the hard work it took to get where she is today. She is a wonderful example to others that they also can do what was thought impossible.”

– Tutor Bonnie Wright

Post image for Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Anne and Bob Stoner
Severna Park Voice Editor Zach Sparks with Mary Anne and Bob Stoner


Two of our dedicated AACLC volunteers have been named Severna Park Volunteers of the Month! Here’s the scoop: ​From Chris Fincham’s Severna Park Voice article:


…Bob and Mary Anne Stoner are active tutors, trainers, and advisors within the AACLC. They teach English language learners – English as a Second Language or ESL – as well as basic literacy for area residents.

“The literacy council lets you help each person with whatever their goal is,” Mary Anne said. “Our program is a one-on-one program, so you really are building a bond and trusting relationship with ​your student​ and you can see them grow.”

“You can see from the first day with some students, that they’re not confident – head down, little eye contact. And now they come in happy and ‘Hey how’s it going?’” said Ma​r​y Anne.

Helping members of the community become more fluent and literate can help with seemingly minor interactions that most people take for granted. “They’ll tell us ‘I went in and I talked to my son’s teacher today’, for example,” said Mary Anne.​

“I’ve been lucky to have a student for three and a half years, and she just bought her first house,” Bob said. “Buying a car, signing a lease, buying a home – it’s life skills.”

The program provides all the materials and plans but also allows volunteers a lot of flexibility, which enables them to cater to each student. “For some, it’s related to work,” Mary Anne said, “but other people want to be able to follow recipes, help kids with homework, or read notes from teachers”.

“It shouldn’t be a stigma that you don’t know how to read – it’s just another skill you need to learn,” said Mary Anne.

Read the rest of the Severna Park Voice article.

Post image for Welcome New AACLC Volunteer Tutors!
February 8, 2020 Tutor Class


Please celebrate AACLC’s excellent new tutor class from the February 8 training! They are now matched with literacy, math, ESL, and GED students and will be providing free and individualized tutoring throughout Anne Arundel County at convenient days and times for their students.

If you’d like to be a volunteer literacy or math tutor, email or call the office at 410-269-4419 to register for the next training.

Follow-On Training March 14

February 13, 2020

Post image for Follow-On Training March 14

All tutors!

Are you new to tutoring and need a little feedback?

Do you need some strategies to overcome a tutoring challenge?

Join us Saturday, March 14th, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at Wood’s Memorial Church in Severna Park, Room 152.

Post image for Mark Your Calendar for Annual Appreciation Dinner April 20, 2020

You don’t want to miss AACLC’s Annual Student and Tutor Appreciation Dinner on April 30 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm! Seating is limited to 200 and fills rapidly, so email Jane Seiss at now to register and reserve your seat.

Oprah Winfrey inspirational quote for AACLC

Post image for Director’s Message February 2020

Magic happens when an AACLC tutor shares their passion for reading, writing, or math with their student. Lasting friendships are formed, personal goals are achieved, and entire families benefit from the experience. You will enjoy “meeting” several of AACLC’s inspirational students and tutors in the articles on our website.

Please pass this message forward to anyone who would like to become a literacy or math tutor, and make plans to attend the March 14 Follow On workshop and AACLC’s April 30 Appreciation Dinner.

Warm regards,

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


Happy Valentine's Day from AACLC

Levar Burton inspirational quote about reading

Post image for Meet Outstanding Student Ana Leveron
Tutor Rosemary Council and Student Ana Leveron


Ana began her journey as a Level 1 ESL student in December 2017. Since that time, she has progressed to Level 4! Ana’s desire to advance to a managerial position, to better communicate with her children’s teachers, and to help her youngest child with his homework serve as incentives to improve her English skills. She manages to attend her weekly two-hour tutoring sessions and complete all homework assignments while working full-time and being a dedicated wife and mother of two. [click to continue…]