The 2014 Reach a Reader campaign has begun.

Literacy hits the streets

The fourth annual Reach a Reader campaign will raise funds for Kootenay community-based literacy programs.

Community leaders and volunteers will join Black Press and the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy in October to raise awareness about the importance of literacy and to celebrate the power literacy has in the Kootenays.

The fourth annual Reach a Reader campaign will raise funds for Kootenay community-based literacy programs.

Why? Literacy is important to all British Columbians! It impacts every aspect of our lives: healthcare, crime rates, employment and economic status. Despite its essential role in life, at least 40 per cent of BC adults have difficulty reading a newspaper, filling out a work application, reading a map, or understanding a lease — and this percentage is increasing.

“The Reach a Reader campaign reminds people that literacy skills are important if we are to succeed in today’s world,” said Joan Exley, Nelson Community literacy coordinator.

“When we hear the word literacy many of us think ‘you can read or you can’t read.’ Of course, literacy is about reading and writing, but it is also about the ability to express our ideas, think critically, and use technology. Literacy is wide and all-encompassing. Literacy is having the skills you need, to do what you want to do in your life.”

Funds stay in the community in which they are raised. In Kaslo, they will support a much needed youth program at the Kaslo & District Public Library. In Nelson, they will support the Learning Place at City Hall and all of the wonderful programs held there. In Salmo, they will support a variety of local literacy initiatives.

You can support the Reach a Reader campaign by making a donation in exchange for a special edition of the Nelson Star. Volunteers will be hitting the streets with papers in hand in the following communities:

  • Nelson – October 8  at Ward and Baker Street, Oso Negro Cafe, Nelson Public Library, Nelson & District Community Complex from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Salmo – October 9 at the Community Centre, outside schools and at the Dragonfly Café from 2:45 to 4 p.m.
  • Kaslo – October 10 on Front Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

You may also donate online at

To learn more about community-based literacy programs contact: Nelson – Joan Exley at, Salmo – Laurie MacDonald at, Kaslo – Barb Szuta at

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