Raise-a-Reader Campaign Gets a $ 500,000 Boost from the Provincial Government

“Literacy is much more than that. It is the ability to express ourselves, to show people our identity and who we are, and to be able to communicate as human beings, which is a really important part of the community.” – Josie Osborne, BC Minister of Municipal Affairs

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When Josie Osborne, British Columbia’s Minister of Municipal Affairs, took a moment from her busy schedule to read a picture book to three rowdy children in the prime minister’s office as part of this year’s Raise-a-Reader campaign, the book did its magic.


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Her somersaults, high kicks, and head slides from the prime minister’s couch stopped: Olivia Trinh, 6, Aubrey Trinh, 5, and her cousin Quinton Hsu, 4, settled in to listen, completely ecstatic.

Osborne, who counts public libraries as part of her portfolio, said that as a child, Wednesday was her favorite day of the week because it was “library night.”

“We all went together, my parents, my brother and I. My mother always said that I could take out all the books that I could carry ”.

Those Wednesday nights piqued her curiosity and a lifelong love of learning and libraries.

“Libraries are important anchors for communities,” said Osborne.

“They are places where people can meet, and although we traditionally think of libraries as a place where we go to do research or read, they are increasingly becoming places where people come together to use digital tools, and to learn a new skill. or to improve. our awareness of other cultures or take initiatives against racism. “


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Literacy isn’t just about reading and writing, Osborne said. “Literacy is much more than that. It is the ability to express ourselves, to show people our identity and who we are, and to be able to communicate as human beings, which is a really important part of the community ”.

Osborne said she is very proud of the responsiveness of British Columbia libraries to restrictions during the pandemic.

“Libraries were able to rotate to increase digital activities and offerings and allow people to interact with libraries in a new way.”

Public libraries are just one way to educate the reader. Vancouver Sun’s annual Raise-a-Reader campaign supports literacy by raising awareness and raising funds to fund a variety of in-person and virtual literacy programs offered through public libraries, indigenous organizations, community literacy groups, schools and family resource centers. The provincial government is contributing $ 500,000 to this year’s campaign.


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“We are very grateful to the provincial government for taking another step to generously support literacy programs in British Columbia. This financial commitment ensures that many children and families will have access to life-changing education and skills training,” he said Harold Munro, editor-in-chief of The Vancouver Sun and Province.

Raise-a-Reader partners with Decoda Literacy Solutions to offer literacy initiatives and programs.

“We support literacy programs and professionals across the province, through 100 literacy outreach coordinators across the province, and we use that network to distribute funds to raise a reader to make sure the funds reach as many communities as possible. possible, “said Margaret Sutherland, Decoda’s Executive Director.


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Community outreach and family literacy programs are key to supporting literacy, Sutherland said, because learning doesn’t just happen in schools or libraries.

“Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers, and the more we can do to help children develop their early literacy skills, the more likely they are to be successful. Talk to your children, read with them, play a game. Parents must have confidence in their ability to support their children’s learning. “

According to the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 16% of British Columbia had a literacy level of level 1 or lower in 2012, 45% of British Columbia aged 16 and 65 years old may have difficulty understanding the newspapers, following the instruction manuals. , reading health information and other daily life tasks and 52 percent of British Columbia residents aged 16 to 65 may have difficulty calculating the interest on a car loan, using information in a graph, calculating the dose of medicines and other tasks of daily life.


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[email protected]

How to donate

Since its launch in 1997, Raise-a-Reader has provided more than $ 20 million to promote literacy in BC

You can make a donation at any time. That’s how:

• Online at raiseareader.com

• By phone, at 604.681.4199

• By check, payable to Vancouver Sun Raise-a-Reader:

1125 Howe St., # 980

Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2K8


Twitter: @RARvancouver

Literacy is a tool everyone needs

The literacy skills of nearly half of British Columbia residents aged 16 to 65 can make it difficult for them to understand newspapers, follow instruction manuals, read health information, complete a tax return, read a rental agreement, or use a catalog. library, according to Decoda. Literacy Solutions, BC’s provincial literacy organization.


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And about half of the province’s population of the same age may have a hard time calculating the interest on a car loan, using information in a graph, or determining drug dosages, according to Decoda, which provides resources, training, funding and support for community literacy. programs and initiatives in more than 400 British Columbia communities.

About 16 percent of British Columbia residents (or 700,000 people) had a literacy level of level 1 or lower in 2012, according to an international survey (the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) in the 27,000 Canadians participated.

Level 1 literacy means struggling to fill out a form at work, navigate a website, find information on a list sent home from preschool, use information on a food label, or compare prices.


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It says that improved literacy at home can help Canadians enjoy better health, manage their finances, understand their rights and responsibilities and legal procedures, and pass their literacy skills on to their children.

At work, you can also improve job prospects, increase earnings, decrease work-related stress by being more efficient and precise at work, and increase your chances of participating in adult education and work-related training. .

And in the community, it can increase community participation and volunteerism, political participation, and increase the likelihood of inclusion in society.



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