Nakusp Elementary grade seven students – doing a very good impression of reading in this photo – will be helping with the Reach a Reader campaign on Oct. 9.

Buy a paper for Reach a Reader and fund local literacy

On Oct. 9 buy your local newspaper from a volunteer on the street. Your donation goes directly to a literacy program.

On October 9 buy your local newspaper from a volunteer on the street. Your donation goes directly to a literacy program in your community.

Join the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy and Black Press to promote, celebrate and support literacy initiatives in your community.

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) is respected locally and beyond for our leadership in community-based literacy programs, but this success could not have been possible without the partnerships that exist across the region. Partnerships are essential to the work we do and the most effective have been a result of a few key ingredients.

First, an issue or challenge drives communities to seek solutions and participation from traditional and non-traditional partners. Second, a working relationship based on mutual respect, collaboration and open communication must be established among partners. Third, the acknowledgement of a shared goal and the steps to achieve that goal must be identified. These ingredients become the beliefs and values of the partnership and create a forward path to change.

Across the region, partnerships are working to support literacy initiatives. Regionally, CBAL partners with Selkirk College, College of the Rockies, Okanagan College and College of New Caledonia to support adult literacy initiatives. As a result, more adults are able to participate in learning opportunities in non-traditional settings. These programs support the development of parenting, life, workplace and academic skills.

Locally, CBAL programs are partnering daily to deliver programs. Not only does CBAL partner with colleges, but we partner with school districts, libraries and other community organizations. Nakusp and area’s CBAL offers ESL classes for those whose first language is not English, basic computer classes for adults of all ages,  Mother Goose for parents and infants where they learn songs and rhymes, Strong Start, Pitter Patter Playgroup, tutoring, as well as maintaining the CAP site.

Both CBAL community-based programming and college continuing education courses provide opportunities to learn in non-formal ways. That is, although there are recognized learning outcomes, the learning process is generally more relaxed and does not result in a diploma or degree.  A silversmithing course at the local college or a senior’s computer program offered by CBAL are both examples of non-formal learning.

CBAL’s informal learning programs provide experiential learning opportunities and are designed to be responsive to the needs of those who participate. They do not result in formal credits and are led by someone who is acting as a facilitator of learning.

CBAL’s staff recognize the uniqueness of each community we serve and offer non-formal and informal literacy and learning programs to meet specific, local needs. The staff helps adults develop the functional skills in reading, writing, numeracy, English language, essential workplace skills and computer skills they need to be successful lifelong learners. Visit cbal.org to see what is happening in your community.

One of the greatest partnerships that have developed from the communities is the community literacy planning committee. These committees focus on identifying challenges and issues concerning literacy, share resources and information and focus efforts on creating a healthy learning community. These committees demonstrate that working together is essential in achieving what we cannot do alone.

You can make a difference in your local community. Participate in the Reach a Reader campaign by purchasing a paper on October 9, volunteering to sell papers, or simply spreading the word as a campaign champion. This year, Nakusp Elementary grade seven students will be helping hand out papers.

To get involved, contact The Arrow Lakes News, Community Literacy Coordinator in Nakusp at lbjarnason@cbal.org.

 

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