Members of the Golden Rockets Kootenay International Junior Hockey League team came out to help raise money for the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy.

Reaching readers made a little bit easier

Volunteers throughout the Columbia Basin and Boundary region worked together to raise funds for their local community literacy programs.

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) and Black Press’ second annual Reach-A-Reader literacy awareness and fundraising campaigns held throughout the region were a “runaway success” say organizers.

Volunteers throughout the Columbia Basin and Boundary region, from young hockey players to long-time literacy supporters, to Black Press and CBAL staff, worked together to raise funds for their local community literacy programs, trading newspapers for donations.

“Once again this year we are grateful to all of the volunteers and people who donated to such a worthy cause,” said editor of  the Golden Star,  Darryl Crane.

Locally the Community Literacy Co-ordinator for the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy in Golden, Monica De said, “The more funds we raise, the more programming we can offer people in Golden and the more literacy resources we can provide our learners with.”

De explained that the funds raised last year were used for the One to One Children’s Reading Program.

This year the funds will be used in a different way according to De.

“Perhaps this year, we can use the funds for a ‘Guys Read’ program. Two of the local schools have talked about the benefits this kind of program would have in motivating boys in Grades 4 to 9 to read. Paul Kropp, author of ‘How to Make Your Child a Reader for Life’ stated that 30 per cent of children in Grade 4 – especially boys – begin losing interest in reading. Another decline in reading frequently begins in Grade 7 or 8. A program like ‘Guys Read’ could help boys in these age groups to become self-motivated, lifelong readers.

“Kropp also recommends that parents can help prevent these reading slumps by continuing to read with their childen, talking about what their children are reading, buying books or magazines that their children are interested in, and keeping rules on computer/TV time.”

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy has opened a Community Learning Place downtown beside Work BC (#218 – 421 9th Ave. N.) which is opened to all ages (birth to seniors). The place allows people to drop in for free books, computer and internet access, help with computer skills, forms, resumes, tests, reading, writing, math, and more.

The office hours are Mondays from 1 to 4 p.m., Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m to noon.

If people can’t make it during these hours, they can call 250-439-9665 to book another time to meet

De also wanted to thank all of the volunters and people who made a donation.

“I want to sincerely thank the Golden Star staff for organizing the Reach a Reader event, the Rockets for volunteering with enthusiasm to collect donations and the locals who donated for literacy! It’s amazing how much was given in just a couple of hours,” she said