Local literacy programs benefit from the Reach-A-Reader campaign.

Join the Reach-A-Reader campaign to make a difference

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL), a non-profit charity, joins with Black Press for the second annual Reach-A-Reader campaign

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL), a non-profit charity, joins with Black Press for the second annual Reach-A-Reader campaign on Wednesday, October 10 .

On October 10, when you pick up The Valley Echo from CBAL and volunteers out on the town, all funds go to supporting literacy programs in that community.

“The Reach-A-Reader campaign is an important way for us to promote our region-wide commitment to building literacy skills and healthy learning communities,” said Ali Wassing, CBAL Executive Director.

This joint campaign demonstrates Black Press’s dedication to building literacy skills in the communities it serves and helping CBAL stretch its reach. Reading is at the heart of CBAL’s drive to help citizens improve literacy skills, engage in life-long learning and increase their confidence to get involved in the community.

“We have 16 coordinators delivering services in 77 communities,” said Desneiges Profili, CBAL Regional Program Manager, West Kootenay and Boundary. “Their work with children, adults, families and seniors to build reading, writing, numeracy, computer and workplace skills is in demand.  Fundraisers, such as our Reach-A-Reader campaign, help support communities to meet this increasing need.”

CBAL is working hard to expand services to meet growing and changing needs in communities across the region. In addition to regional funding received from Columbia Basin Trust, Selkirk College, College of the Rockies and the Province of British Columbia, local partnerships and fund raising campaigns are critical to developing more community-led programs targeting local needs. The Reach-A-Reader campaign demonstrates this shared commitment.

“We partner with businesses, community organizations, libraries, schools and colleges to help meet demand for our services,” said Betty Knight, Regional Program Manager, East Kootenay. “Getting the communities involved in supporting us through the partnership with Black Press and the Reach-A-Reader campaign takes our message to the heart of the communities we serve.”

Over the last 10 years, CBAL has delivered an average of 230 programs to 7,000 participants each year. Positive feedback, living examples of the benefits and community response has been very supportive.

Participants can choose from a variety of programs such as: Love 2 Learn, Young Parents Education Program, Cyber Seniors and English as a Second Language.

You can make a difference in your local community.  Participate in the Reach-A-Reader campaign by purchasing a paper on October 10, volunteering to sell papers, or simply spreading the word as a campaign champion.

To get involved, contact The Valley Echo or Katie Andruschuk, community literacy co-ordinator for the Windermere Valley, at kandruschuk@cbal.org or 250-688-2115.For more information on CBAL, visit www.cbal.org or check out the CBAL Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/columbiabasinallianceforliteracy.