In continuation with its partnership with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL), Columbia Basin Trust has committed to $1 million in funding over the next two years to help continue the support the alliance offers communities in the basin.
CBAL is a non-profit organization that delivers literacy programming in 77 communities throughout the region. They have a range of literacy programs and services for children, families, adults and seniors, include reading, writing, numeracy, health, financial and computer literacy support. The regional network allows each community to focus on its specific needs.
For Nakusp, funding received will go toward programs like Mother Goose, which helps develop early language skills, the English as a Second Language program, computer classes for seniors, and the employability skills enhancement programming for adults that is unique to Nakusp.
“It’s the only one in the West Kootenays,” said Lisa Bjarnason, the CBAL coordinator for Nakusp. “We have a partnership with Work BC where CBAL offers weekly workshops aimed at any sort of employability skills including communication, goal setting, resumes, and interviews.”
CBT is one of six funders for the non-profit organization. They have been a supporter CBAL since 2001.
“We were wishing to strengthen the delivery of literacy services in the basin,” said Liz Gillis, manager of social initiatives for CBT. “They approached us in the early 2000s to work with us to find a way to support literacy across the basin that would have a strong regional approach to this delivery that would support consistency of access to literacy services across the basin, but at the same time this focus on community priorities.”
Funding will dispersed among the 77 communities throughout the region. For CBAL in Nakusp this funding means the organization will be able to continue its programs.
“Sometimes year to year it’s a little unsure,” concluded Bjarnason. “We get funding from different sources and this can vary from year to year, so this gives us a little breathing space that we’ll be able to continue with our programming.”