Look for the Heroes (in Early Literacy)

by Betsy Brainerd (Arapahoe Libraries) & Melody Garcia (CLEL Communications Chair)

We followed up with CLEL’s 2021 Hero Award winner, Betsy Brainerd, for some words of encouragement. Betsy is the Early Literacy Supervisor for Arapahoe Libraries and was nominated last year in recognition of her work with the Begin with Books program and ongoing support of the library’s many early literacy programs. 

We asked Betsy how it felt to be recognized for her efforts advancing early literacy in her library and community:

“As the 2021 CLEL Hero Award winner, I want to encourage you all to consider who among your own early literacy cohort might be nominated for an award in 2022. Personally speaking, it was an honor to be nominated by my co-workers last year. Although I felt I had worked hard to spread the early literacy word through outreach, Family Place programming, CLEL, etc., I still recognized that it is my job and I get paid to do it. Getting paid to do what you love is pretty lucky, and I think that those of us who do might downplay our own efforts. And from that angle, it is hard to think of oneself or even others as deserving of an award.  I was grateful to find out that my co-workers thought I deserved an award and it made me appreciate my years of work in a new way. So look around you – I know there are many early literacy heroes among us.”

Betsy Brainerd/ 2021 CLEL Hero Award

The CLEL Awards are presented each year at the Annual CLEL Conference. Now is your chance to honor a colleague deserving of recognition! The deadline to nominate has been extended to September 16, 2022. Learn more and access the nomination form at https://www.clel.org/professional-development/conference/#clel-conference-awards