Literacy hits the streets of Castlegar

Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy and Black Press team up

Community leaders and volunteers will join Black Press and the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy on October 9, 2014 to raise awareness about the importance of literacy and to celebrate the power literacy has in Castlegar.

The Fourth Annual Reach a Reader campaign will raise funds for Castlegar’s 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 B.C. 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 modern world,” says Alana Murdoch, Castlegar Community Literacy Coordinator. “Literacy is an important part of strong communities. Literacy is lifelong and life-wide; it is about having the skills you need to do what you want to do in your life. 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.”

In Castlegar, funds raised will help support the Community Learning Place. This free, drop-in program helps adults with basic computer, reading, writing, and math skill development and test preparation. One program participant said, “I am grateful for the help I got at the Community Learning Place. I feel more confident with my computer skills and have used them in my job search.” The program will start on October 7th at the Castlegar & District Public Library and will run every Tuesday from noon – 3:00 pm.

You can support the Reach a Reader campaign by making a donation in exchange for a special edition of the Castlegar News on October 9th, 2014. Volunteers will be hitting the streets with papers in hand at Safeway, Kootenay Market and the Castlegar & District Public Library between 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. You may also donate online at

To learn more about community-based literacy programs in Castlegar contact Alana Murdoch, Castlegar’s Community Literacy Coordinator, at



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