Training offered by Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy helps teach literacy skills

CBAL training offered to Sunshine Valley Community Living Society care workers has helped aid in literacy in Grand Forks.

Trevor proudly shows his new library card.

Trevor proudly shows his new library card.

Over the past two years, the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) has offered tutor training opportunities to Sunshine Valley Community Living Society care workers.

They apply these skills to special needs clients and we partner with them on a number of levels, both in delivering a special needs literacy class each week and with referrals for some of their clients.

One of these care workers, Yvonne, who took our tutor training, started to do literacy activities with one of her clients Trevor, a 50-plus-year-old gentleman.

They began to work on language experience stories and started to visit the library.

Trevor had never before entered the library and began to be introduced to books and stories in a way that Yvonne described as a totally life-changing experience.

Yvonne worked with him closely and Trevor is slowly working his way through a book of stories about dogs.

Trevor has received his first library card and had his picture taken with pride.

This literacy experience has also assisted Trevor with his day-to-day life skills, such as grocery shopping, reading signs, and the local paper – all things he would be doing only by pictures or visual clues alone.

CBAL continues to work with Sunshine Valley Community Living clients and it also has people come forward from all walks of life, that self refer to us, ready to make the very big step to reach out and become the reader and writer they know they can be. They just need to be given another chance.

CBAL also offers English as a Second Language groups for anyone in the community that may need help with English language skills.

Also, the Community Learning Place at the Grand Forks and District Public Library meeting room is a place an adult can drop in. It is for people looking for any kind of help with computers, reading, writing, numeracy and runs every Tuesday from 2 to 5 p.m.

– Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL)