Trail Times file photo

Importance of literacy for all, highlight in Trail all month

For a 2nd year, council proclaimed September as “Literacy Month in the City of Trail”

The Silver City bridge will be twinkling purple Sunday night to shine a light on “International Literacy Day.”

As requested by local literacy advocate Carolyn Amantea, Trail is illuminating the driving bridge a shade of violet to recognize the betterment of world literacy rates and to reflect on the world’s remaining literacy challenges.

Further, Trail council has proclaimed all 30 days of September as “Literacy Month in the City of Trail.”

This is the second year civic leaders have made the declaration as a way to recognize how literacy skills are the key to opportunity for Canadians, on the homefront and beyond, to better their life chances and success in today’s world.

Read more: September is Literacy Month

Read more: Read-A-Reader

“It is important for Trail to recognize September as Literacy Month, as it is an opportunity to promote our community-based resources and to highlight the importance of literacy for all,” says Amantea, community literacy coordinator for the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL).

“By doing so, Trail will be joining a number of other British Columbia municipalities in a provincial effort to continue to help raise awareness of the important role that literacy plays in the lives of adults, children and families, youth, Aboriginal and immigrant communities.”

While inroads have been made on literacy rates across the province, approximately 40 per cent of adults in British Columbia have difficulty reading a newspaper, filling out a work application form, reading a map, or understanding a lease.

This is where CBAL programs come into play for people of all ages living in the basin.

CBAL’s vision is for local communities to be healthy, inclusive, and committed to literacy and learning as lifelong and life-wide activities.

“It is critical that all citizens of Trail have adequate literacy skills, as this determinant of success impacts every area of modern life: health care, civic engagement, education, employment and the economy,” Amantea said.

“In the 2018-2019 program year, CBAL (Trail and area) offered a variety of literacy programs and events for children, families, adults and immigrants, which saw approximately 600 adults and more than 700 children and youth in attendance.”

As well, the organization holds an annual, basin-wide Reach-a-Reader campaign that has three goals: to raise awareness about community-based resources, to raise funds to support local community-based literacy programs and to highlight the importance of literacy for all.

“Watch for CBAL staff in Fruitvale, Trail and Rossland this October,” said Amantea. “As we fundraise for our ‘Books for Kids’ initiative.”

Run as a non-profit organization, CBAL helps address literacy barriers in 77 communities across southeast B.C. In Trail, the CBAL office is located at 1160 Cedar Ave.

For information about programs, volunteer opportunities, or making a donation, contact Carolyn Amantea at (250) 368-6770, or by email at

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