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Our Goal is a Literate Community

Expanding the power of literacy in an individual’s life provides greater opportunities for choice in education, work, recreation, and citizenship. We acknowledge the greatness and adaptability of the human mind. We subscribe, without qualification, to the following beliefs:

  • We believe all adults can learn.

    • Humboldt Literacy Project (HLP) recognizes that there are barriers to learning and we will help to remove barriers whenever possible. We may not be the appropriate source for all potential learners; we will make referrals to other organizations when necessary.


  • We believe all individuals have the right to privacy and confidentiality.

    • When communicating about the organization, HLP will honor an individual's right to privacy and confidentiality, promoting loyalty, cooperation, and trust.


  • We believe that a non-judgemental environment promotes mutual respect, trust, openness, comfort, and hope.

    • HLP promotes open-mindedness. Recognizing that it is not the right of the tutor to judge the lifestyle of the learner or the right of the learner to judge the motives of the tutor, we will work to create an environment of mutual respect and trust.


  • We believe tutoring should be learner-centered.

    • HLP recognizes learner-centered tutoring, using the learner's life experiences, interests, needs, and goals to guide the selection of materials and techniques.


  • We believe in conducting ourselves with openness and integrity.

    • HLP relies on the trust and support of the community, so we conduct ourselves with integrity and openness.


  • We believe in providing the highest quality service.

    • HLP is entrusted with the greatest responsibility of expanding a learner’s mind. To provide any less than high quality service would be unethical. We must collaborate within the HLP family and with community partners, to provide the highest quality, training, access to information, support and recognition.


Humboldt Literacy Project has three central missions:


To teach adults in Humboldt County the literacy skills they need on the job , at home, and in our community.


To increase public awareness regarding the magnitude and negative effects of illiteracy. 


To build a public awareness about the social, political, economic, and cultural value of literacy.

Humboldt Literacy Staff

Our paid staff is here to support our program please do not hesitate to contact them for any questions.








Emma Breacain

Executive Director:

 Executive Director Emma Breacain taught herself to read at a young age on the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, before growing up to earn a Journalism degree. When she realized that journalists often have to write about unpleasant things, she redirected her love of language into helping other people enjoy the near-magical beauty and power of the written word. She came to Humboldt Literacy Project in 2011 and frequently proclaims herself "the luckiest gal in the world" because of the brave learners and generous tutors she gets to facilitate, here. In her spare time she cooks and records novelty songs with her boyfriend and cats.




Pam Holten

Program Coordinator

Pam’s favorite book is The Wave by Susan Casey about big wave surfers. Pam graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Spanish. She has a long history of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). She has taught ESL at three different community colleges, Eureka Adult School and at a small elementary school. She has worked tirelessly to get our tutors and learners up and running. Her understanding of ESL and education has helped her improve our program by putting new systems and new literacy materials together that have benefited both tutors and learners. Pam is the point of contact for our tutor volunteer opportunities and to get help with literacy through HLP.









Jessica Ricker

Outreach Coordinator

​Jessica loves the power of words and how they shape our world. Jessica graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Recreation Administration and a business minor. She was the sales manager at Wing Inflatables, a realtor and most recently started her own business from the ground up. Jessica has a strong background in customer service, sales, marketing, and social media publication. From designing stickers and posters, and organizing events to putting on our Family Literacy Parties, Jessica continues to work closely with Pam and Emma. Her main objective is to increase our clientele numbers and create new programs for Humboldt's one and only source for free, confidential, one-on-one English literacy tutoring.

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Literacy Facts 2023

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