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Sandra England wins Community Literacy Award

Community Literacy Award nominees included (back row from left), Bookies Book club members Bonnie Baker and Marj Bailey, author Anne DeGrace, Selkirk College instructor Ray Brock, adult literacy program tutor Joe Woodward, (front row from left), Nelson Daybreak Rotary president Sandra England, and South Nelson elementary school students Brianna Jones and Sophie Harris.  - Sam Van Schie photo
Community Literacy Award nominees included (back row from left), Bookies Book club members Bonnie Baker and Marj Bailey, author Anne DeGrace, Selkirk College instructor Ray Brock, adult literacy program tutor Joe Woodward, (front row from left), Nelson Daybreak Rotary president Sandra England, and South Nelson elementary school students Brianna Jones and Sophie Harris.
— image credit: Sam Van Schie photo

Nelson Daybreak Rotary Club president Sandra England won this year's Community Literacy Award.

England was recognized for her work to promote and support Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy initiatives through Rotary, as well as encouraging the club to continue to sponsor the salary of a teacher in Haiti. She also volunteered to help teach English language skills to the two Bemese women who were sponsored by the Nelson Refugee Committee to come to Canada last year.

"Sandra is worthy of this award because of the long term effect of her help," her award nomination read. "Two refugees have gained additional English language skills, which will help their adjustment to Canada and future contributions to Canadian society."

England said she was honoured by the recognition.

"I'm really happy and quite surprised because my involvement has been mostly to carry on the work that other people started before me," she said, noting she really enjoyed working with the women, Hsa and Htoo, during their first year in Canada.

"They were so eager to learn, it was really fun and easy to work with them and help them along when they were in their first year living in Canada. It's been very rewarding because it's been a friendship as well."

CBAL collected the award nominations in the spring and the winner was selected by a committee made up of representatives from CBAL, Kootenay Lake School District, The Family Place and the Nelson Star. The award, now in its fourth year, was handed out Tuesday and seven other nominees were also recognized.

Joe Woodward and Sylvia Reimer were nominated for a third straight year for their ongoing work as tutors for CBAL's adult literacy program where they offer confidential support for people who struggle with reading and writing.

The Bookies Book Club was nominated for encouraging its almost 20 members to read new books every month.

Selkirk College instructor Ray Brock was nominated for his inspiring teaching style: "He doesn't always follow the book but he teaches people in ways they can learn," the nomination read.

South Nelson students Brianna Jones and Sophie Harris were nominated for writing a radio play for their Grade 4 class, which can be heard on the school's website.

And author, librarian and Nelson Star columnist Anne DeGrace was nominated for promoting literacy and the sharing of stories through the written word.

Each nominee received a hard card copy of their nomination to use as a bookmark or keepsake.

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