People across the Basin and Boundary have been packing their drawers with socks and t-shirts while filling the bookshelves of local children by participating in the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s (CBAL) annual Books for Kids fundraising campaign.
“The literacy funds received during the campaign remain in the communities they are raised in,” said Desneiges Profili, Executive Director of CBAL. “Without these funds, some of our programs would not be possible. Supporters can be confident that the money they spend or donate is being used in meaningful ways in our communities.”
The past year has been a challenging one for all. However, CBAL hasn’t waivered in their delivery of quality programming to children, families, and adults. Programs and services have been offered online, in-person, and outdoors following COVID-friendly protocols.
“I was inspired by how our staff were so creative and innovative and how they worked with partners to reach out to the people in their communities despite the pandemic. We had 2533 children and youth and 2160 adults in our family literacy programs last year,” said Profili.
Since 2010, the Basin and Boundary-wide the Books for Kids campaign has raised more than $100,000 to support family literacy programs. Last year, over 6,000 books and materials were distributed in communities throughout the Columbia Basin and Boundary.
The campaign is supported by Black Press, Columbia Valley Pioneer, The Goat Newspaper, Blue Sky Clothing Company, and local credit unions.
This year, in celebration of CBAL’s 20th anniversary, the campaign is offering up another way to help – a swag shop full of custom literacy-inspired t-shirts. You can also purchase the popular Blue Sky merino wool or bamboo socks from our local Community Literacy Outreach Coordinator. If socks and t-shirts aren’t your thing, you can always donate online at cbal.org.
In British Columbia, more than 700,000 people have significant challenges with literacy according to the most recent Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey. As an example, the survey indicated that 45 percent of British Columbians between 16 and 65 who have difficulties understanding newspapers, following instruction manuals or reading health information. Basic math, like calculating interest on a car loan, or determining a dosage of medicine, is difficult for 52 per cent of British Columbians of the same age group.
Our work is not yet done! For more information about our Books for Kids campaign, visit cbal.org/books4kids/.