Victoria Street Bridge will sparkle purple on Tuesday to recognize International Literacy Day. (Trail Times file photo)

Trail shines light on importance of literacy

September is Literacy Month in the Silver City

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

This is the third year the city will mark the occasion, as requested by local literacy advocate Carolyn Amantea.

Illuminating the bridge a shade of violet on Sept. 8 is meant to recognize the betterment of world literacy rates over time and to reflect on the world’s remaining literacy challenges.

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

“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, Indigenous 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 and Boundary.

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

“In these ever-changing times, it is becoming critical to support literacy in three key areas — health literacy, financial literacy and, as many more people will be facing not only isolation, but also the need to access many routine aspects of daily life through virtual means, digital literacy,” Amantea said.

“We are currently working closely with our community partners to develop effective strategies and programs to support those most in need.”

In the past year, CBAL (Trail and area) offered a variety of literacy programs and events for children, families, and newcomers to Canada, which saw hundreds of adults and more than 600 children and youth in attendance.

As well, the non-profit 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.

Since starting up in 2001, CBAL has been working to address literacy barriers in 77 communities across the Columbia Basin and Boundary.

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 via email at

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