Black Press, local credit unions, community leaders and volunteers across the Columbia Basin and Boundary are joining the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) for Reach a Reader Month this October. The campaign will raise funds for local, community-based literacy programs and increase awareness of the importance of literacy.
“We are very excited about the Reach a Reader campaign this year,” says Ali Wassing, CBAL’s executive director. “This is our 6th year. We have more community partners than ever, and we are adding a great new component – Loonies for Literacy piggy banks will be available in credit unions, businesses and at our community-based literacy programs throughout the month.”
More than 500,000 British Columbians have challenges with literacy. Over one-quarter of those currently employed in BC don’t have the minimum literacy and essential skills they need to successfully participate in today’s knowledge-based society.1 Those skills go far beyond being able to read and write; they include using technology, doing calculations, communicating verbally and in writing, and problem-solving.
“Literacy is the key to success in our society – living a healthier life, getting a better job, and being able to support our children’s learning,” adds Wassing. “We know there is a need. CBAL offers free literacy programs and services for people of all ages in 77 communities across our region, from Books for Babies to iPad classes for seniors. In 2015-16, 7360 people attended those programs.”
On October 5th, community leaders and volunteers will hit the streets, distributing special editions of local papers and collecting donations. Loonies for Literacy piggy banks will be available in communities throughout October. In Trail and Fruitvale, Kootenay Savings Credit Union will have banks in their branches to collect donations. All funds will go to the community in which they are raised to support free literacy programs.
To find out more about literacy in Trail contact Sonia Tavares at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to cbal.org.