Over $3,800 raised for Barriere and area literacy

Raise-a-Reader dollars raised will be matched 100 per cent by the government

(l to r) AG Food’s customer Sheri MacGregor makes her donation for the Raise-a-Ready campaign last week with volunteers Bev Murphy

(l to r) AG Food’s customer Sheri MacGregor makes her donation for the Raise-a-Ready campaign last week with volunteers Bev Murphy

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, the annual Postmedia Raise-a-Reader campaign once again took to the streets of Barriere to raise funds that are earmarked to promote literacy within the Barriere area (McLure to Little Fort).

This year, thanks to volunteers who hawked special edition newspapers, and the generosity of those who made donations, the local Raise-a-Reader campaign has raised to date $3,857.83; surpassing last year’s total for Barriere of $3,496.33.

“One hundred per cent of all the funds raised will stay in the area and are matched in total by the government,” said Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach Coordinator (LOC) Jill Hayward, “Important and vital literacy programs within our community, such as Mother Goose, Partner Assisted Tutoring and more, are funded by these dollars. I am very appreciative of all the wonderful volunteers who came out on Raise-a-Reader Day to help hawk special edition newspapers, take donations, and promote literacy and learning initiatives within our immediate communities.  We couldn’t have come in with such a good total without their help and energies.”

The Ministry of Education is also providing $500,000 to support literacy and this year’s Raise-a-Reader campaign, Education Minister Peter Fassbender said. Funds raised through the annual Raise-a-Reader campaign play a vital role in supporting literacy programs that help B.C. families. Since 2004, the Province has invested more than $5.8 million in support of Raise-a-Reader, including the investment announced last week.

Hayward says she was especially appreciative of the four grade 7 students at Barriere Elementary who joined with volunteer Dawn McCormick to sell the papers in the morning and afternoon to parents and others who were arriving at the school.  “These students didn’t just sell papers, they made it a fun event, with lots of smiles and laughter all around.  I’ve heard from a number of folks what a great job they did promoting this literacy initiative for our community.  A big thank you to Sami, Brooke, Meghan and Pam.”

Hayward also says thanks to volunteers Bill Kershaw, Rhonda Kershaw, Colleen Hannigan, Pat Paula, Virginia Smith, Glen Stanley, Bev Murphy, Cindy Wilgosh, and Cheryl Thomas.  With a special mention to Barriere Esso and Subway, Barriere Petro and A&W, Sam’s Pizza and Rib House and Barriere AG Foods.

“Literacy exists to empower today’s children and families with the ability to read, write and do mathematics, but it is also about problem solving, decision making, technology and social skills,” said the LOC, “These skills significantly affect the quality of life and the health and social economic well-being of individuals, families and our communities.”

Hayward says she is now working on signing up volunteers who would like to work as volunteer tutors for the Partner Assisted Learning (PAL) program for adults that will get underway again this fall.  Anyone who is interested in signing up is encouraged to contact her by calling  250-318-8023 or 250-672-9773, or by emailing: jill.h@yellowheadcs.ca.

Volunteers are also welcome to stop in at the Yellowhead Community Services office in the Ridge, 4936 Barriere Town Road, Barriere.

Barriere & Area Literacy Outreach is the result of the 2010 Legacies Now Community Literacy Initiative. The Barriere & Area Literacy Outreach Coordinator works with a group of interested community partners, joining together to develop, maintain and expand literacy levels for children, youth and adults in the communities where we live. Previously called Lower North Thompson Literacy & Learning; Barriere & Area Literacy Outreach is now managed by Yellowhead Community Services in Barriere.