Post image for Director’s Message July 2023

I hope you’re having a wonderful summer so far!

Our July newsletter and this website are full of excellent student news, fall training details (October 14), book fair update, and more.

Thank you for caring about local adult literacy & education,


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



Post image for New Tutor Training October 14, 2023

Train to be a Volunteer as a One-On-One Tutor for Adults!

On October 14, we will host a New Tutor Training Workshop for trainees interested in working with

  • literacy,
  • ELL English Language Learner
  • math, and high school equivalency students.

The session will happen at Woods Church in Severna Park from 8:30 am until about 3 pm. Space is limited.

Please email Jane or call 410-269-4419 to reserve a seat. 


Community Resources 2023

July 18, 2023

Post image for Community Resources 2023

Fiction and Nonfiction Online Books for Adult Learners

Access the ReadLife Bookshelf, a digital book collection filled with stories designed for adults seeking to improve their literacy skills. A range of online books in English or Spanish is available at

ProLiteracy’s Training Webinars Are Now Available to Watch on YouTube

ProLiteracy’s Teacher Training Plus was popular with instructors looking for new strategies and one-on-one guidance on basic literacy, English language learning, HSE, and using published materials. Tutors can watch all past webinars on ProLiteracy’s YouTube Channel. Learn about building conversation confidence, teaching writing to basic literacy students, improving reading comprehension, helping students with pronunciation, and more.

Annapolis Opera Presents Stories Through Music

Visit the library’s website for more information on fun and interactive concerts that tell the meanings behind classical and popular music. Enjoyable for all ages at branches throughout Anne Arundel County from now through August 3.

AA County Partnership Warm Line

The Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families is now accepting calls for resources or basic needs assistance through its Warm Line at 1-800-485-0041. Residents may call the Warm Line with all basic needs, including housing, food security, resources for parents, family navigation, and more.

Students & Tutors: Access The Baltimore Banner Using Your Library Card

Anne Arundel County Public Library card holders can now read The Baltimore Banner, a nonprofit news website launched earlier this year that covers the Baltimore region. Visit AACPL’s website to sign in using your library card number.

Barbara Bush Foundation Reading Resource Library

A tool created for educators to share with learners, filled with topically relevant, educational, and captivating books for readers of all ages and levels.

211 Maryland
Help is a call or text away.

For anyone facing difficulties, dialing 2-1-1 connects callers with 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.

Post image for Nursing Student Achievement

Congratulations to Anne Arundel Community College and Literacy Council student Sonye K. She has completed the nursing program at AACC and is now a graduate Licensed Practical Nurse! Congratulations, and thanks also to tutor Suzy Ochs for her work with Sonye and many other AACLC students over the years.

Post image for Sherrie Realizes a Long-Term Goal

AACLC student Sherrie Abel passed the written portion of the driver’s license test in May. After consistently studying with her tutor, Janet LaBella, for a year, Sherrie scored 25 out of 25 on her second attempt at the exam, administered by appointment on a computer at the MVA.

“I got on the computer and prayed before I started and did it,” Sherrie said.

To prepare, Sherrie used the Maryland Driver’s Manual, a glossary of terms, and sample practice tests that Janet created. The first time Sherrie took the test, she realized that a lot of the diagrams and pictures that illustrated driving scenarios in the practice test were eliminated. In response, Janet created a Word document without images. The two used it as a practice test, sometimes setting a timer so that Sherrie would feel comfortable taking the timed test at the MVA. Their plan paid off. Sherrie will now enroll in driving lessons before taking the required behind-the-wheel test in the months ahead.

Sherrie explained that getting a driver’s license has been a personal goal for over 20 years. “I am a widow,” she said. Her husband had encouraged her to get her license in case anything happened to him, but Sherrie thought he’d be around forever and had not pursued getting her license until meeting Janet.

“I love it,” Sherrie said of her work with Janet. She plans to continue receiving tutoring so that she can also better her reading.

Sherrie and Janet began working together in the spring of 2021 when Covid precautions were critical. They met outside until they were comfortable moving to an indoor setting. By last fall, they inquired and were welcomed at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center, a convenient location for both.

“Sherrie is an absolute delight,” Janet said. “We have a good time!”

Post image for AACLC ESL Student Success!

Tutor Sally Iadarola and her student Marcela had their last session in May. Marcela achieved her goals and has completed her Literacy Council ESL program. Congratulations, Marcela and Sally. Thank you for being so dedicated.

Post image for AACLC Student Passes the ASVAB

Congratulations to Usman A., who passed the ASVAB in May. 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.

Usman studied hard, meeting with his tutor, Nancy, twice a week — in person and on Zoom. Determined to pass the test, Usman practiced in his free time using Khan Academy content, Quizlet, and books he borrowed from the library. He is now preparing to enlist with the U.S. Army. Way to go, Usman! Thank you, Nancy!

Post image for Director’s Message June 2023

Happy summer —

We have some wonderful student news to share this month. Usman, Marcela, Sherrie, and Sonye have all achieved significant goals, and we are so proud of them! Hooray for their outstanding tutors too! Please read our What’s New section for an update on all things AACLC.

In our community this month … Celebrate Annapolis Juneteenth

Annapolis will celebrate Juneteenth with a Gala, Parade, and Festival from June 16 – 17. Learn more about what is planned and how to participate at

We try to keep our Community Resources page up to date. Check it out HERE.

Thank you for caring about local adult literacy & education,


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


Post image for Dollar General Literacy Foundation Awards AACLC an Adult Literacy Grant


Anne Arundel County, MD – May 25, 2023 – The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council a $5,000 grant to support adult literacy in our communities. This local grant is a part of the Foundation’s largest, one-day literacy donation of more than $13 million throughout the 47 states in which Dollar General operates to support adult, family, and summer literacy programs.

“It is a joy to celebrate this historic grant announcement during our 30th anniversary year,” shared Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “For three decades, DGLF’s investment in community programs has created meaningful access to literacy skills for adults, children, and families alike and exemplified Dollar General’s mission of Serving Others.  We believe everyone deserves the opportunity and access to a quality education, and we look forward to seeing these literacy grants inspire reading and build brighter futures.”

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports organizations that increase access to educational programming, stimulate and enable innovation in the delivery of educational instruction and inspire a love of reading. Each year, DGLF awards funds to nonprofit organizations, schools, and libraries within a 15-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, summer and youth literacy programs. The Foundation also offers a student referral program for individuals interested in learning how to read, speak English, or prepare for the high school equivalency exam.  Referrals to a local organization that provides free literacy services are available online here or through referral cards found in the Learn to Read brochures that are available at the cash register of every Dollar General store.

About Anne Arundel County Literacy Council

The Anne Arundel County Literacy Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides free one-on-one tutoring to low-income adults and out-of-school youth (18 and over) who seek to improve their lives by learning to read, earning a diploma, or learning to speak English. We provide free assessments and materials to our students, and all our tutors are volunteers. Students and tutors meet for lessons at local libraries. We have been helping adults with literacy in Anne Arundel County since 1977. There are more than 200 active volunteers in our membership, and they collectively donate 13,000+ hours of their time in our communities every year.

About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $233 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 19.3 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma, or English proficiency. Each year, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation provides financial support to schools, nonprofit organizations, and libraries within a 15-mile radius of Dollar General stores and distribution centers. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation or apply for a literacy grant, visit


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How Low Literacy Affects the Ability to Perform Daily Tasks

According to ProLiteracy, there are 43 million adults who struggle to read beyond a third-grade level. This brief article describes what that means in life and how it can impact the ability to read medicine bottles, instructions on a voting ballot, and materials that children bring home from school.

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.