Introducing the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy team in the Kootenay Boundary.

Reach a Reader: working together to make a difference

Next Wednesday, buy the Nelson Star from a volunteer on the street and your donation goes directly to a literacy program in your community.

Next Wednesday, buy the Nelson Star from a volunteer on the street and 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 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, Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy 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, Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy programs are partnering daily to deliver programs. Not only does the alliance partner with colleges, but we partner with school districts, libraries and other community organizations. 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.

To get involved, contact the Nelson Star or the community literacy coordinator in your community. Nelson: Joan Exley at jexley(at)cbal.org 250-352-3218. Balfour/Kaslo: Barb Szuta at bszuta(at)cbal.org 250-353-2289. Salmo: Laurie Macdonald at lmacdonald(at)cbal.org 250-357-2874. Slocan Valley: Alison Salo at asalo(at)cbal.org 250-359-6887.

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