More than 36 million adults in the United States lack basic literacy skills. In fact, according to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, 54% of adults struggle to read, write, and comprehend, impacting their daily lives.

“This crisis affects all of us — lying at the core of the multigenerational cycles of poverty, poor health, and low educational attainment that impact our families, businesses, communities, and our nation as a whole” — the Barbara Bush Foundation.

The AACLC’s programs address adult literacy needs in Anne Arundel County. To see what literacy looks like in our communities, Maryland, and surrounding areas, visit the Barbara Bush Foundation’s Literacy Gap Map.

Low Literacy Costs Money!

“Adult literacy can change everything.” We could save an estimated $106 – $238 billion a year in healthcare costs if we eliminated low adult literacy in the United States. Get more facts on adult literacy at

Cost of low literacy statistics

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Thank you to the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County (CFAAC) and the Pittman administration for supporting the Literacy Council with a grant from the Community Crisis Response Fund. This award will help us sustain our free, individualized adult education programs for low-income adults in Anne Arundel County.
Forty-two nonprofits received grant awards to address critical needs identified in CFAAC’s 2022 Community Needs Assessment Report, Poverty Amidst Plenty. To learn more about the report, visit CFAAC’s website. Read the county’s grant awards press release here.Thank you to Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County
Post image for ProLiteracy Training for ALL Tutors: April 2023 Classes

Access the Teacher Training Plus Project on ProLiteracy’s Website

Continue your tutor training by participating in free webinars for trained tutors. This resource from ProLiteracy provides best-practice instructional strategies. Four training areas are offered: Basic Literacy Instruction, English Language Learning, HSE Instruction, and Using Published Materials.

Webinars are about an hour long, and in follow-up, optional small-group coaching is available, as well as handouts and slide presentations. Webinars in each area are listed by date, and past webinars are also available for viewing.

Tutors must log in to their ProLiteracy account to access the webinars. Please let Wendy or Jane know if you need the Literacy Council’s membership number when creating an account.

Teacher Training Plus Classes in April, 2023:

Recent Teacher Training Plus Classes

To access these, click on your subject area of interest on the Teacher Training Plus page and scroll to the bottom to see links to recordings of past webinars.
Pick Your Battles: Best Practices for Helping Students with Pronunciation (ESL Training), January 17
Effective Strategies for Teaching Writing to Basic Literacy Adult Learners (Basic Literacy), January 26
Post image for How We Celebrated National Reading Month 2023

On March 4, to celebrate National Reading Month, we attended Severna Park Tutoring & Educational Advocacy‘s community literacy event to spread the word about our work with adults and to receive donated children’s books for our book fair. Thank you, Severna Park Tutoring!

AACLC table at literacy event


Box of children's books

Post image for Director’s Message March 2023

National Reading Month

I hope you are enjoying a good book this National Reading Month. My most recent reading pleasure has been Agent Josephine by Damien Lewis, about the courageous work of glamorous superstar Josephine Baker as a spy during World War II. Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes. It inspired me to sign up to volunteer with the Literacy Council in 2017.

Of course, the AACLC does much more than teach reading. We also offer ESL, math, diploma, ASVAB preparation tutoring, and more. There is a great need for these services in our county. Read this month’s newsletter for news on local support for our services and statistics on adult literacy.

Why did you and your student get involved with the Literacy Council? What books or stories are you reading? We would love to know!

Many thanks,


P.S. We update this list of community resources as we get new information: Community Resources 2023

Jane Seiss, Executive Director AACLCJane Seiss, Executive Director
Anne Arundel County Literacy Council


Literacy Lights the Way artwork created by Literacy Council supporter and volunteer Anita Ewing, a local artist:

Sun shining behind mountains: Literacy lights the way

Post image for Free Income Tax Service for Taxpayers Earning Under $60,000

AACC Offers Free Income Tax Service for Taxpayers Earning Less Than $60,000

VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provided through Anne Arundel Community College’s School of Business and Law, has returned after a pandemic break. Trained, supervised volunteer students and alumni are available to prepare federal and state tax returns. Appointments are required, and they are available through April 8. This year, taxes must be submitted by April 18. Visit the AACC website for more information and to make an appointment.
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Save the date!

Just announced: We’ll have our third-annual fundraiser BOOK FAIR on Saturday, September 30, 2023, at Westfield Annapolis Mall this year. Many thanks to the mall for donating its Community Room and Crate & Barrel Court space for this fun event.

We’ll share news on book donations, sponsorships, and plans coming in the next few months.

If you’d like to join our book fair team, please email Jane. The book fair has grown, and we’d love help collecting, sorting, and storing books. We will also form a book fair planning committee in the weeks ahead. Let us know if you’d like to be part of the fun leading up to September 30!

Post image for Director’s Message February 2023

Black History Month  •  Valentine’s Day

We are looking forward to a spring New Tutor Training session on March 25 (CLICK HERE for details) — please email us to sign up. But, before that, we have some announcements and celebrations to enjoy this month. They’re listed below with links to more information elsewhere in this website.
Happy Valentine’s Day & Happy Black History Month,
Jane Seiss, Executive Director AACLCJane Seiss, Executive Director
Anne Arundel County Literacy Council


Celebrate Black History Month

February 22, 2023

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  • Did you know? The Banneker-Douglass Museum in downtown Annapolis is Maryland’s official museum of African-American heritage. Its mission is “documenting, interpreting, and promoting African-American history.” Visit for information on all Banneker-Douglass Museum offerings, including art and history exhibits, activities, programs, a virtual tour, and a dedicated YouTube channel.
  • Anne Arundel Community College is celebrating Black History Month with art exhibits, workshops, a spoken word evening where locals can RSVP to share their art, and movie screenings. To learn more about AACC’s plans, visit
  • On February 19 at 1 pm, Maryland Hall will host Freedom Way: A Blueprint of African American Resistance and Liberation in the United States. Freedom Way is an exhibition and presentation that was created and will be narrated by Bishop Craig Coates, a local pastor and historian. From Maryland Hall’s website: “Freedom Way is a music and art collection of boldly framed graphic posters, each depicting words and pictures of some of the many milestones and inhumanities experienced by Black people on the long road to freedom from enslavement.” For more information, visit
  • Visit Anne Arundel County Public Library’s website at for a calendar of events that celebrate Black history, as well as Black History Month Booklists.
Post image for AACLC Student Success: Kelly G.

Congratulations to Literacy Council student Kelly G. who worked diligently with her tutor Frank Mackowick to study for the ASVAB. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multiple-aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military. It is administered annually to more than one million military applicants, high school, and post-secondary students.

Kelly passed the test with a great score, opening a path to excellent opportunities with the U.S. Army. Kelly is now getting ready for basic training, and Frank has just begun tutoring another student in preparation for acceptance into the military.