Post image for Reading Lists for Adult Learners

New resources offer book suggestions

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy recently published a reading resource guide for readers of all ages and levels. Visit the resource library to see recommended books by topic, including Civil Rights, Science Fiction, and Inspirational Text. Browse book summaries, author websites, book trailers, reviews, and more.

The Literacy Council’s staff and tutors compiled this suggested reading list, available as a PDF.

Tutors, please email us your book or resource recommendations at any time, and we will share them:



Post image for Student & Tutor Success: Ivonne & Vicki

Vicki Jordan on working with her “fearless” student Ivonne, who is a teacher, translator, & an inspiration.


“I retired December 2017 and in early 2018 took the training offered by the AA County Literacy Council for volunteer tutors! Tutoring was on my bucket list. Ivonne and I were matched (brilliantly!) and started our journey together in March 2018.

“From our first weekly meeting at Linthicum Library we ‘clicked.’ We share a love of learning and a heart for helping others be their best selves. Ivonne is a Middle School Spanish teacher and her goal was to improve her spoken and written English — particularly business English; formal and informal correspondence with the administration, parents, and students…

“Little did we know in 2018 how much written correspondence would be required at all levels during the past year-plus as we navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic and online school presented a whole new set of challenges, and Ivonne was prepared for the unexpected.

“As we began our work together, we used the Challenger Series provided by AACLC, quickly completing the first series and moved on to books 5-8. Each week Ivonne came prepared and enthusiastically shared ‘The Best Thing that Happened’ from the journal we agreed she would keep. Her journal entries started out focused on facts — persons, places, and things — and gradually became much more complex focusing on emotions/ perceptions, and goals for the future utilizing more advanced sentence structures and her growing vocabulary.

“Ivonne read books about famous historical figures, newspaper articles, and shared her love of art with me. I learned she loved baseball too and we studied baseball terms! Her written and conversational English improved through tireless practice and most importantly, her confidence grew!

“Ivonne is fearless. As a teacher, she copes with many challenges inside and outside the classroom. Her ‘WHY’ is her students — she cares deeply about them and has built a trust with each of them that lingers long after they leave Middle School. I love hearing about the notes and visits she receives from current and former students who share what a difference-maker she is. Where others might see defeat and obstacles, she sees opportunity and growth. Ivonne inspires me!

“Speaking of inspiration, during the summer of 2020, the church my husband and I attend was in need of a Spanish translator. Without hesitation, Ivonne stepped up to bridge the gap between our church and the community we were serving. Not only did she help us understand what they needed as far as food, etc., but she also provided spiritual support.

“Ivonne and I look forward to meeting in person again and in the meantime, we continue to talk over the phone, send texts, and emails, and be there for each other. We both love the Library of Congress and hopefully, that will be an outing we can share! She is a friend and I look forward to the milestones she will achieve in the future.”

Vicki Jordan,
Post image for Director’s Message April 2021
April 18 – 24 is National Volunteer Week and the perfect opportunity to thank and celebrate our team of more than 300 active volunteers who are making a difference in Anne Arundel County. Thank you all for your talents, kindness, and hours of work on behalf of our students. AACLC volunteers collectively donate more than 13,000 hours of their time every year to improve lives in our communities. You are amazing! COVID vaccines are now widely available in our area. We strongly encourage all of our volunteers and students who can to get vaccinated. Please see the information below about state and county vaccine clinics.

All Marylanders & AA County residents 16 and over are eligible for vaccination.

Visit Maryland’s COVID-19 vaccination information site at for details on vaccine clinics or to pre-register for vaccination at a mass vaccination site. Anne Arundel County’s Department of Health is also running local clinics and there is a Mass Vaccination site at the USNA Stadium. Find more here:

County Transportation to COVID Vaccine Clinic Appointments is Available

To coordinate transportation, call 410-222-3663 (TTY 7-1-1), Monday – Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. Read more about this program here.

With Many Thanks,

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

Remote Tutoring Success

March 15, 2021

Post image for Remote Tutoring Success

Useful ideas and follow-up from our Zoom Roundtable

  • Use Google Docs to look at a document at the same time as your student — see changes made in real-time and discuss them while you are working.
  • Check out Quizlet for generating vocabulary lists, flashcards, multiple-choice quizzes, and other study tools. Use the app or the website.
  • Use screen sharing and real or virtual whiteboards to work out math problems or to review material with your student.
  • Some libraries are already creating and providing access to their summer reading sections, which are organized by reading level. Look for books of interest to your student, and always feel free to ask a librarian for help.

For more advice about tutoring from a distance, please contact Wendy to receive our Virtual Tutoring Guide — a compilation of tips and resources from AACLC staff, trainers, and tutors. Tips on low-tech virtual tutoring are included.

Our Work Matters

March 13, 2021

Post image for Our Work Matters

This month, we are sharing news on the impact of tutoring. Read more at these links:

Learning to read as an adult changes deep regions of the brain

“Even learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms brain networks,” one researcher said in follow up to a 2017 study. “The adult brain is remarkably flexible to adapt to new challenges.” (Mental Floss)

Lawyer reunites with teacher who taught her English as a child

A lawyer and immigrant whose teacher spent an extra hour a day volunteering to teach her English finally gets to thank the woman who changed her life. This piece was shared by a Literacy Council supporter. (The Washington Post)

U.S. adult literacy facts

ProLiteracy breaks down its most recent findings on adult literacy including some of the costs of low literacy in the United States. (ProLiteracy)

Post image for AACPL Open for Tutoring Visits

Contact your branch for details

MAY 1 UPDATE: Anne Arundel County libraries have reopened for visits — no appointment necessary. Hours may vary at each branch. See location and contact information and call ahead with any questions or to get the latest on library policies. Mask, sanitizing, and social distancing guidelines must be followed.

Any tutor-student matches who would prefer to continue with virtual tutoring are very welcome to do so.

Welcome Catie and Beverly

March 11, 2021

Post image for Welcome Catie and Beverly

Two accomplished community members join our Executive Board

Catie Comer portraitCatie Comer is the Director of Development & Communications for The Arc Central Chesapeake Region. She brings nearly seven years of fundraising and communications experience to the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council. She is passionate about nonprofits and supporting the community. Catie also volunteers with the Sister States Leningrad Oblast Committee and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Emerging Leaders Taskforce.
Catie is an Annapolis native and a graduate of the University of Maryland with degrees in Journalism and the Russian Language. She formerly taught English as a Second Language in Russia and volunteered as an AACLC ESL tutor. Catie also helped us plan and put on last year’s virtual art sale.


Bev Sumpter portraitBeverly Sumpter has been a proud resident and active community leader of Anne Arundel County for more than 20 years. She graduated from Bowie State University and has an MA in Human Resource Development (HRD). In 2008 she retired from the United States Air Force after serving 23 years. Beverly currently works for the Secretary of the Air Force, Public Affairs Office as Chief, Security and Policy Review.

In 2014, her love for community building, outreach, and education inspired Beverly to join the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council as a tutor. For four years, she volunteered as a tutor fully committed to working with her student. As one of the members who wear many hats in the organization, she was the 2019 AACLC Appreciation Dinner Chairperson and worked to organize the AACLC Annual Literacy Lights the Way Walkathon.


Post image for Books & Resources Always Available

Contact Wendy or Perinaaz for materials or resources

We are very happy to help tutors and students with materials, online resources, or advice on student progress and plans. Please reach out to us any time and visit our website Tutor/Volunteer Resources page for a comprehensive list of resources by subject area.

Recently, we’ve gotten positive feedback about the “Who Was?”/”What is?” series (see cover images above). The books focus on important changemakers, scientists, artists, writers, athletes, and history. They are enjoyable for level-3 Laubach students and above and readers of all ages. The “Who/Was” series is available at and on Amazon Smile, and we have some in our collection.



Post image for Director’s Message March 2021

Spring is almost here, and the clocks move forward this weekend. It is a good time to anticipate hopeful times ahead of us.

This month, we welcome two new members to our Executive Board. Catie Comer and Beverly Sumpter have both volunteered with the Literacy Council for a while. They will continue to be wonderful contributors to our team. You can read more about our entire board: CLICK HERE.

Local libraries have reopened for appointment visits, and we have some excellent resources and articles to share:

As always, please let us know if we can help you at any time.

Thank you for your support,

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

More Resources For Our Clients

February 22, 2021

Post image for More Resources For Our Clients

Food: Place settingFood Assistance

Thanks to the many good people and local groups, there are a lot of new places to get food assistance and help with other household items.

Anne Arundel County has food pantries, senior pantries, and even pet pantries. Please visit this map to see food and necessities distribution locations and details.

Please also see FoodFinder for locations of local food pantries/banks searchable by zip code.

211 Maryland

For anyone facing difficulties, dialing 2-1-1 connects callers with highly trained health and human services personnel who provide guidance and help with a range of needs from utility assistance to legal guidance to mental health help.

211 help is available in more than 100 languages. Please see to know all that the service offers. Calls are confidential, and there is a texting option as well.