Amy Crepeau is in charge of the Huntington Beach Library’s Family Literacy Program. Amy and her small staff of part-time employees work with local community members who need to improve their English language skills.
These are parents and working people who need better reading, writing and conversational skills in order to help their children in school, communicate effectively with doctors and teachers, get better jobs, and ensure the health and security of their families. It’s a program that changes lives.
From her office at the library’s Oak View branch, Amy recruits and trains (and inspires!) volunteers who work with adult learners to acquire the English skills they need to become active and productive members of the community. Amy writes grants and seeks funding to keep the program alive, encourages both her tutors and her learners at every step, designs programs that meet the schedules and needs of her learners, and greets everyone in the program by name.
To form a closer bond and to communicate better with the families she serves, Amy took it on herself to learn Spanish. Within a very short time she was conducting programs in both languages. She started a bilingual story time for families where two languages are spoken, and hosts an annual awards event that recognizes the amazing accomplishments of both learners and their volunteer tutors.
To see Amy greeting children and embracing their parents, to see the excitement among those who reach their learning goals and to see the affection in which Amy is held by the community is to see the best in what libraries and literacy have to offer.