Reach a Reader reaches community

Reach a Reader helps CBAL with literacy programs

  • Oct. 7, 2011 9:00 a.m.
Alex Ross (left) and Aaron Becker of the Castlegar Rebels accept a donation Thursday from Audrey Polovnikoff at the community centre for the Reach a Reader program.

Alex Ross (left) and Aaron Becker of the Castlegar Rebels accept a donation Thursday from Audrey Polovnikoff at the community centre for the Reach a Reader program.

For reasons almost as numerous as the sections in a library, reading is an important skill.For personal enjoyment and enrichment the ability to read is indispensable, for personal safety and educational advancement, as critical, and perhaps even more so.

For this reason, Black Press Publishing — the parent company of the Castlegar News — in conjunction with Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) has launched the Reach a Reader program. The project which spans the East and West Kootenay aims to raise awareness and funds for literacy by asking Black Press readers for one day only to buy their local newspaper by making a donation.

“Literacy is a cornerstone of any healthy community,” says Castlegar News publisher Chris Hopkyns, who will back up his words with action this Thursday on the streets of Castlegar.

Hopkyns, along with editor Jim Sinclair, will offer copies of The News for donations toward the CBAL program.

Joan Exley, CBAL coordinator, believes literacy entails more than just the ability to read and write.“When I talk about literacy I talk about having the skills that you need to do what you want to do in your life,” said Exley. Many are unaware that computer literacy also falls into the general literacy spectrum.

In today’s ever changing technological society, computer comprehension and competency is a mistaken certainty.“More and more we need to be able to access technology in order to keep our jobs and understand and do things in society,” said Exley. “When doctors tell seniors to go look up a prescription on the computer, they assume they know how to do it.” According to Exley, the demographic for people who access CBAL’s services is expansive.“The people who access our program are people who are new to Canada, who might be developing their language skills, an adult who is stepping forward after years of not being able to read or write and somebody who maybe doesn’t have the skills to keep their job or move up,” she said.