Government is providing $500,000 to this year’s Raise-a-Reader campaign to support community-based literacy programs for children and families throughout British Columbia.
“Literacy is so important to the lives of British Columbians. These are the skills that allow us to take part in our communities and live full and healthy lives,” said Minister of Education Mike Bernier. “Raise-a-Reader and Decoda are doing great work to support literacy and by extension, build stronger communities throughout the province. I encourage everyone to go out and support literacy in their community by contributing to Raise-a-Reader this week.”
Government’s annual $500,000 contribution to Raise-a-Reader supports programs that provide families with fun ways to engage in literacy. Programs that will benefit from this funding include Abbotsford’s Family Education Program, Chilliwack’s Families in Motion program, and Vancouver’s Families Branching Out program. Families can find a variety of literacy programs offered at their local library, school or community centre.
During these programs families learn how to read and write together, learn new songs and rhymes, or make crafts like family trees, memory books, or sock puppets. These activities help develop confidence in reading, writing, and communication skills for children and their parents.
“On behalf of Decoda Literacy Solutions, I would like to thank the Ministry of Education and the Vancouver Sun for their longstanding support of Raise-a-Reader,” said chief executive officer of Decoda Literacy Solutions, Brenda Le Clair. “The Ministry of Education’s contribution to Raise-a-Reader will complement our efforts to provide resources and training to family literacy programs throughout the province. These programs will offer more chances to increase the literacy and learning skills of children and families, youth, adults and seniors to improve their quality of life.”
“The Vancouver Sun Raise-a-Reader program has helped to enrich the lives of families and individuals throughout B.C. for 20 years,” said the Vancouver Sun’s local marketing manager, Leza Maloney. “Together with our valued partners in government and literacy agencies, we continue to provide important tools to build fundamental skills that we believe are vital to our province’s most important stakeholders – readers. We are grateful for their continued support and participation in this essential community initiative.”
The annual week-long Raise-a-Reader campaign can be found in the Vancouver Sun’s print and online editions this week. The campaign will feature daily stories highlighting literacy and library programs from throughout the province. Government supports Raise-a-Reader in partnership with the Vancouver Sun and Decoda Literacy Solutions, the only provincewide literacy organization in British Columbia.
Further to government’s efforts to support learning for families and young children, a new $600,000 partnership between the Ministry of Education, the Provincial Office for the Early Years and the B.C. School Superintendents Association will give early years professionals the tools they need to better support children entering kindergarten. Provincewide sessions will enable teachers and early childhood professionals to network and share strategies to address the needs of young learners – thereby making for a smoother transition from pre-school to kindergarten.
“Every child learns in a unique way. They might be hands-on learners who love playing with blocks, or perhaps prefer listening to someone read to them,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux. “This new partnership will bring together kindergarten teachers, StrongStart co-ordinators, day care providers and others who work with young kids to discuss each child’s needs and help schools prepare for their arrival. By sharing information about children moving to kindergarten, we can build local networks and create a more comfortable learning environment, one that will start each child on the path to lifelong success.”
- Since 2005, the Province has invested more than $6.8 million in support of Raise-a-Reader, including the investment announced today. Funds raised through the annual Raise-a-Reader campaign play a vital role in supporting literacy programs that help B.C. families.
- The Raise-a-Reader campaign was created by the Vancouver Sun in 1997 to support literacy by increasing awareness and raising money to fund child and family literacy programs in British Columbia.
Decoda Literacy: www.decoda.ca/literacy-in-bc/