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Building a better future for herself and her family

In 2018, Yin-Yin Chou, a mother of two, brought her youngest child, two-year-old Kaitlyn, to the library and joined the Families for Literacy (FFL) program. Within one year, Yin-Yin decided to work with a tutor on her own literacy goals. Today, Yin-Yin continues to achieve every new goal she sets for herself. During school and library closures in the pandemic, Yin-Yin supported her children with distance learning, participated in virtual FFL programs, and she managed to meet weekly with her tutor on FaceTime.

Yin-Yin’s tutor Janet Clancy says, “Yin-Yin’s a lovely individual, kind, conscientious, reliable, and she takes her role as a parent very seriously. One of her key goals is to be the best parent she can! She comes up with creative ways to engage her children. She does her research and takes advantage of what the community has to offer to bring in new experiences for her children. She does this all for the sake of becoming a better person and a better mom.”

Yin-Yin sees growth in both her own reading skills and her children. “In the beginning, my daughter didn’t interact with anyone. But, when I bring her to FFL, my daughter will observe what others are doing, and she now feels more comfortable and engages in circle time. For me, I feel more confident! FFL always provides so much material. I learned things like when kids use scissors, and make crafts, that it helps build fine motor skills. We continue practicing with the virtual program, and we try to practice the alphabet every day!”

“Even if we are not available, I can always watch the videos later. It’s more convenient! I replay the video and the kids ask me to watch the video again! I am so happy when I receive the books and craft packages,” said Yin-Yin. “It feels like we are receiving presents. I read every day, at least 20 times with my children. We read the books we received along with the videos. Now, I have better support to help my older child, Abigail, at school. Right now, my kids are doing virtual learning, and I am so glad for this program because I practiced and read a lot! Virtual learning is hard, and its new. You need to download this and be able to read that. I am glad I was able to adjust quickly because now I can read.”

Yin-Yin believes FFL can help more families. “This program has a very welcoming environment and it’s a program for ALL parents. Even if you aren’t a native speaker, don’t be afraid. All the people here are very nice. They respect you and they will make you feel like you are not alone. During these parenting classes, if you have questions, you can ask for help. It’s a very welcoming environment and they will help you.”

Yin-Yin’s goals for the future? She says, “I feel like my career is my kids. They are still young. After middle school, I will want to find a job. Only after they are older. Right now, I just want to stay with my kids, and help them with their schoolwork. But, now I am a parent volunteer! I am more confident to volunteer virtually, in my older daughter’s class. This is something I never thought I would try to do. I wasn’t too confident before, but I am now!”