Reach a Reader Day is Oct. 18. (Submitted)

The Gazette and CBAL reach readers next week.

October is Reach a Reader month.

Black Press, local credit unions, community leaders and volunteers across the Columbia Basin and Boundary are joining the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) for Reach a Reader Month this October. The theme for this year’s campaign is Books for Kids.

“The campaign has been building since 2011,” said Desneiges Profili, CBAL’s executive director. “Our partnerships with Black Press, local credit unions and various businesses continue to grow.”

Literacy is a crucial factor in children’s healthy development. The latest Early Development Instrument (EDI) results produced by the Human Early Learning Partnership showed that one in three B.C. children are considered vulnerable in one or more domains upon entering kindergarten. This impacts children’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive development.

“Literacy skills and their impact are lifelong and life-wide,” Profili added. “Learning to read begins in the home and it is these early experiences that are the foundation for success in school, home and life. Having access to books is key in developing early literacy skills and our goal is to help children across the Basin and Boundary to have access to quality books.”

CBAL has programs for families, school-age children, adults and seniors. In 2016-17, 8427 adults and 5558 children accessed these programs and services across the 77 communities. The Books for Kids campaign will be instrumental in helping to provide books to children and families in CBAL programs and distributed throughout a variety of events in the region.

Community leaders and volunteers will hit the streets on Oct. 18, distributing special editions of local papers and collecting donations. Donations will also be collected at local businesses throughout October. All funds will go to the community in which they are raised to support the Books for Kids campaign. If you miss them on the street, you can donate online at cbal.org.

To find out more about literacy in the Boundary area, contact Yelena Churchill at boundarycoordinator@cbal.org or visit cbal.org.

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