From GED student Bridgette to her tutor Susann:

“Ms. Susann, you have been such a blessing in my life. Your determination and flexibility to get me through what has been a challenge for me, allowed me to reach one of my goals. You were able to learn the way I think, how I process information, and with that, you developed a strong working system by developing visual examples, along with life skills. I am a strong believer that everyone can learn if you have to have the right teacher, which I did, and study, study, and study :)”

Post image for Tutor Spotlight: Jessica Fumando

Jessica Fumando and tutor John Carley

John Carley, a retired EPA professional, has tutored several students since his initial tutor training in October 2016. After his retirement in 2010, he sought volunteer opportunities with other charitable organizations, but never found a good fit. He relishes the independence he has now as a tutor and feels that in tutoring with the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council, he has the freedom to figure out the best way to do things for his students and to focus his lessons on their needs.

John’s current student Jess has made significant progress since they started working together. Jess has enjoyed having John as a tutor, saying he is “great” and has helped her get over her “huge phobia of fractions.” She also appreciates the individual attention she gets during one-on-one tutoring. “I can say specifically ‘I’m not understanding this.'” she explains. “Then he can break it down for me in a different way so I’m able to understand.”

-Written by Trevor Stern

UPDATE: We were delighted to learn that Jessica and John were featured in a wonderful article on the ProLiteracy Blog “Literacy Changes Lives — When Life Grew Difficult, She Didn’t Give Up.” CLICK HERE to read this piece.

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Change a Life Through Literacy
#GivingTuesday, November 28, 2017

Exciting News! An AACLC Executive Board member has pledged to match the first $2,500 donations on #GivingTuesday!

  • Razoo is waiving their 4% platform fee so that your donation will go directly to the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council.
  • Donate in honor of a friend or loved one, and a personalized acknowledgment card will be mailed directly to them for the holidays.
  • Renew your Literacy Council membership online on #GivingTuesday, save a stamp, and your donation will be doubled!

Your gift will go directly to help your Anne Arundel County neighbors who struggle to find a job or earn a GED because of their lower reading, writing, math and English skills.

 If you’re able, please donate next Tuesday
and maximize your gift through this generous match.
Every donation of $10 or more counts towards 
online prizes!
Black Friday. Cyber Monday
Post image for Test-Taking Skills Workshop January 20, 2018
Saturday, January 20th from 9am – noon
Founders Room 
Wood’s Memorial Presbyterian Church
Severna Park

The GED, as well as the entrance tests for the NEDP and Community College, have multiple choice questions which can be tricky to maneuver. Deena Fujimoto will break it down to help us mentor our students for these tests.

Please consider attending the workshop if you are currently tutoring a student for the GED / NEDP / Community College or would like to tutor one such student in the future. Also, this workshop is open to both our tutors and our students. 

Be sure to RSVP so we can prepare enough materials:
Susann Felton,
See you January 20th!

Post image for Support AACLC Through Workplace Giving

Workplace Giving is a simple way to make tax-deductible donations to local charities through payroll contributions. Please consider supporting the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council through your employer’s workplace giving program.

Post image for Thanksgiving 2017 Message From The Director

As we near Thanksgiving, we want to thank you for helping 223 low-income county adults receive free and individualized reading, writing, math, and English instruction this year. By improving their skills they are gaining jobs, better-paying jobs, acceptance into Anne Arundel Community College’s adult Basic skills classes, GED’s, and an improved quality of life. Your caring, kindness, and generosity made this happen!

Please take a moment to “meet” several of these students and tutor John Carley in this newsletter. Their passion and determination to succeed is inspirational and beautifully illustrates why we do what we do at the Literacy Council.

Also, we have exciting news. AACLC Executive Board member Debby Turner is pledging to match the first $2,500 in online donations on #GivingTuesday, allowing you to double your donation on November 28th. Thank you, Debby!

Kind regards,


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

AACLC staff members pose in group photo

Literacy Council staff, from left to right: Jane Seiss (tutor coordinator), JoAnn Cook (student coordinator), Emily Clement (assessor coordinator), Patti Durst (database coordinator), Lisa Vernon (executive director), Jill Mischo (tutor training coordinator), and Dr. Perinaaz Gandhi (math/pre-GED coordinator). Not present: Susann Felton (math/pre-GED coordinator), Bruce Phillips (database administrator).


Student Spotlight: Eirly

October 16, 2017

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Eirly and tutor Monica Hawse

Eirly, who contacted the AACLC last spring because she wanted to sharpen her literacy skills, brings a lifetime of experience to her reading sessions with her tutor Monica. Eirly is not only a mother of four and grandmother to nine; she is also a great-grandmother four times over.

Monica enjoys the personal stories and life lessons that Eirly has shared with her. From her vantage point of 74 years, Eirly knows herself well: “I am a go-getter and don’t let anything defeat me. You need to pick up what you have in life (both good and bad) and walk with it.”

Monica reports that Eirly makes continuous progress in their tutoring sessions, completing not only her assigned homework, but new lesson exercises, too. Monica is delighted by Eirly’s always-positive attitude. When Eirly reads aloud, for example, she becomes so immersed in the story’s characters that she cheers them on, exclaiming, “Bless you, Tom!” or “Don’t do that, dear … ”

In short, this tutoring pair not only respects and admires each other; they laugh a lot, too!

Post image for Student Achievements, Summer 2017

We are so proud of our students and their tutors for the remarkable milestones they’ve achieved this summer.

  • 4 students passed the GED exam.
  • 1 student qualified for entry into the National External Degree program.
  • 2 students enrolled in AACC classes.
  • 1 student registered to vote.
  • 25 students advanced a level in their curriculum series.
  • 1 student was promoted to sergeant at his security job.
  • 1 student was able to read a menu and comparison shop for the first time!
  • Several students obtained library cards and checked out books for their children for the first time.
  • 1 student passed his driver license exam.

Student testimony:

Comment from student Johnetta Jones to her tutor Pete Schanck: “I want to thank you for your help and encouragement. Not just with math, but with everything. I have confidence in myself again and know that I can do anything I set my mind to.”
Post image for 2017 Fall Tutor Training and Follow-on Workshop

2017 Fall Tutor Training

Thirty new volunteers participated in our 2017 Fall Tutor Training. What a great tutor class! These new tutors are now being matched with students throughout the county. A tremendous “Thank you” also goes out to Tutor Training Coordinator Jill Mischo who led the training, along with trainers Anita Ewing, Dr. Perinaaz Gandhi, Susann Felton, Bob and Mary Ann Stoner, Jane Seiss, JoAnn Cook, Emily Clement, Bob Mondor and Shirley Theimer.

Tutor Follow-On Workshop

Saturday, November 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Our next tutor workshop will be held at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church on November 4th. Valuable tutor resources will be shared from experienced math and literacy tutors, and student challenges will be addressed. Both new and experienced tutors are encouraged to attend.

— Mark Your Calendars and Make Plans to Attend —