OUR VIEW: Aiding in literacy

As the Grand Forks Gazette hits the streets today (Oct. 5), members of the Grand Forks Border Bruins, Grand Forks city council, various community literacy organizations and Gazette staff will be at various locations across the city hawking this week’s issue.

The phrase “reading the newspaper” will take on extra meaning this week.

As the Grand Forks Gazette hits the streets today (Oct. 5), members of the Grand Forks Border Bruins, Grand Forks city council, various community literacy organizations and Gazette staff will be at various locations across the city hawking this week’s issue.

The first annual Reach a Reader event in Grand Forks is a partnership between The Gazette and parent company Black Press and the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) and all proceeds will go towards CBAL’s community literacy programs – fittingly, this year’s catch phrase is “Buying today helps reading tomorrow.”

It’s easy to take the ability to read for granted – people may read books for pleasure but they use it in other, subtle ways in their daily lives.

While someone can read a classic piece of literature like Gulliver’s Travels they are also reading when they observe the posted signs when driving along Highway 3 to determine the speed limit and the distance to their destination.

When watching television, people read the listings on TV to determine what an episode is about and what channel it is on.

Guess what people are doing when at the supermarket and trying to see what aisle to go to and determining how much something costs?

Drivers deciding which type of fuel to fill up with at a gas station are using reading skills as well.

By purchasing a copy of The Gazette this week, you are supporting the many people that CBAL helps in the community, be it young or old.

Besides children, CBAL helps older people with literacy as well, whether they have cognitive difficulties, have suffered a stroke or have had a lack of education.

The sad reality is, not every adult has learned to read but people in that situation needn’t feel shame – you’re never too old to learn.

As witnessed in the Reach a Reader series of stories that has graced our last few issues, the ability to read has helped an ESL student ace her biology class and calmed a school bus full of mischievous youngsters.

Help to contribute to the literacy cause and pick up a copy of the Grand Forks Gazette or better yet, buy some extra copies if you can, as it is by donation.

Contributing not only ensures that CBAL has funding to provide its services, it ensures that people young and old will have the opportunity to learn to read.

– Grand Forks Gazette