“The West Boundary literacy program is built on collaborative relationships,” said Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) Community Literacy Coordinator Sheila Dobie as four West Boundary residents joined her at a meeting of the West Boundary Community Literacy Committee on May 30 in Midway. Present were Dobie, Vivien Browne, Gail McLean, Judy Foucher and Pat Kelly.
The semi annual meeting provides an opportunity for Dobie to touch base with those who are delivering programs on the ground in the West Boundary.
Gail McLean gave a report on behalf of the Kettle River Seniors who used some funding from their Empowerment of Seniors grant to provide literacy programing last year. An essay contest in the West Boundary schools generated 52 essays from four schools. The seniors also hosted computer literacy classes.
Judy Foucher, librarian for the Greenwood Public Library (GPL), noted that Storytime attendance at GPL is up again. She also reported another successful year for the Reading Link Challenge in the elementary schools.
Foucher said that GPL didn’t receive Canada Summer Jobs funding for a summer student this year but the board has decided to hire a student, but with fewer hours. Funding will come from their literacy grant, a grant-in-aid from RDKB and a donation from the Boundary District Teachers Association.
Vivien Browne gave a report on CBAL activities in the West Boundary. Kam Gillhollihn provided Alphabet Soup and Mother Goose programing.
Browne had been operating in the position of CBAL outreach coordinator for the West Boundary since last year, but has recently stepped aside.
Dobie assured those at the meeting that literacy outreach to the West Boundary will remain a goal for her. “We will need to find who can do outreach in the fall,” she said. “Someone who can be on-the-ground, looking around, coordinating the pieces and looking for partnerships as they work with me.” Though she cautioned she had only a tiny budget for the job.
Dobie then led the group through a review of the four goals of the District Literacy Plan: Financial Literacy, Health Literacy, Building on Community Connections and Building on Collaborative Programs. Dobie reported that course curriculum for financial literacy workshops are now available and both the Kettle River Seniors and the Greenwood Library mentioned interest in partnering with CBAL to make the material available in the West Boundary.
Other opportunities were discussed, such as the possibility of hosting health talks with local physicians or pharmacists to advance health literacy; and a list was drawn up of new potential partners who might assist in the delivery of local
literacy programing. “I am always so impressed and humbled by this kind of process where we bring a few people together. These meetings always add value,” said Dobie as the meeting wrapped up.
For more information about literacy opportunities in the Boundary check out Facebook for Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy- Boundary Region.