Welcome to Easy English NEWS! We're glad you're here.

Mission statement

Our mission is to facilitate learning experiences that help our readers feel more confident in their English ability and more comfortable in their communities.

How did Easy English NEWS get started?

In the 1980’s, founder Elizabeth Claire attended an ESL conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. There, she saw a newspaper produced by the Canadian government. It had articles about Canadian history and government and was written in easy English. She thought that there should be something like that for people coming to the United States. She waited to see if someone would develop one.

Tired of waiting, she decided to develop one of her own. In 1996, together with Mariko Sasaki, director of JBC Language in Fort Lee, New Jersey, she founded Easy English NEWS. At first, it was a free newspaper for Bergen County, New Jersey newcomers and was supported by advertising. After seven months, Easy English NEWS became a national newspaper sold by subscription.

In 2007, Elizabeth Claire moved the newspaper to Virginia Beach, Virginia where we still produce the paper today.

In 2020, we partnered with Big Timber Media to develop Easy English NEWS Digital. With our everchanging world, Easy English NEWS Digital has allowed us to be more adaptable to our subscribers’ needs.

In January 2021, Elizabeth decided to retire from the newspaper to focus on writing more books. She passed the torch to her managing editor Carol Brigham, of Pifer-Brigham, LLC. Carol and the Easy English NEWSteam look forward to partnering with you for many years to come.

Meet Carol Brigham

I am very excited about being the owner and editor-in-chief of this amazing award-winning newspaper.

When I was ten, I wrote a newspaper called the Pifer Press. I wrote stories about my family, neighbors, and school friends. I drew pictures to go along with my stories. I made the pages look like a newspaper with headlines, columns, and a Pifer Press banner across the top of the front page. I didn’t know it then, but I was practicing for Easy English NEWS.

As I went on to high school and college, my love of English and language teaching grew. I studied literature and writing. I worked in classrooms with students of all ages. I graduated cum laude from Denison University in Granville, Ohio with a degree in English and a minor in Education.

While I was finishing my master’s degree in Education and Reading, I began teaching adult English language learners. This was the most rewarding teaching experience I had ever had. It touched my heart to help my students read, write, and speak English. I used Easy English NEWS in the class to help teach them. My greatest joy was to see them become U.S. citizens and find a place in their new community. During this time, I won an award for Superior Service by a Staff Person from the Pennsylvania State Refugee Resettlement Program. I didn’t know it back then, but I was getting ready for Easy English NEWS.

When my husband and I moved to Virginia Beach, I emailed Elizabeth. I asked if there were any jobs available with her newspaper. It was the best email I’ve ever sent. Her reply was an invitation to work for Easy English NEWS. It brought me to all of you.

Since 2018, Elizabeth has been my mentor. She hired me as an editor and then as the managing editor. She taught me the ins and outs of managing this newspaper. She prepared me to take Easy English NEWS into the future. I am honored to carry on her legacy.