Books for Kids kicks off in October

Buy a t-shirt, socks, or donate to the campaign to support literacy in the Creston Valley

The annual Books for Kids campaign helps to support literacy in communities throughout the Columbia Basin and Boundary areas. (CBAL)

The annual Books for Kids campaign helps to support literacy in communities throughout the Columbia Basin and Boundary areas. (CBAL)

Submitted by the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy

Pack your drawers with socks and t-shirts while filling the bookshelves of local children by participating in the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s (CBAL) annual fundraising campaign – Books for Kids.

October kicks off CBAL’s annual Books for Kids campaign held in partnership with Black Press, Creston Valley Advance, Blue Sky Clothing Company, and local credit unions.

This year, in celebration of CBAL’s 20th anniversary, the campaign is offering up another way to help – a swag shop full of custom literacy-inspired t-shirts. You can also purchase the popular Blue Sky merino wool or bamboo socks from your local community literacy outreach co-ordinator again this year. If socks and t-shirts aren’t your thing, you can always donate online at cbal.org.

“The literacy funds received during the campaign remain in the communities they are raised in,” said Desneiges Profili, executive director of CBAL.

“Without these funds, some of our programs would not be possible. Supporters can be confident that the money they spend or donate is being used in meaningful ways in our communities.”

The past year has been a challenging one for all. However, CBAL hasn’t waivered in their delivery of quality programming to children, families, and adults. Programs and services have been offered online, in-person, and outdoors following COVID-friendly protocols.

“I was inspired by how our staff were so creative and innovative and how they worked with partners to reach out to the people in their communities despite the pandemic. We had 2,533 children and youth and 2,160 adults in our family literacy programs last year,” said Profili.

Since 2010, the Basin and Boundary-wide campaign has raised more than $100,000 to support family literacy programs. Last year, over 6,000 books and materials were distributed in communities throughout the Columbia Basin and Boundary.

In British Columbia, more than 700,000 people have significant challenges with literacy according to the most recent Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey. As an example, the survey indicated that 45 percent of British Columbians between 16 and 65 who have difficulties understanding newspapers, following instruction manuals or reading health information. Basic math, like calculating interest on a car loan, or determining a dosage of medicine, is difficult for 52 per cent of British Columbians of the same age group.

CBAL is a not-for-profit organization that develops and delivers literacy programs and services for families, children, youth, adults and seniors. CBAL is funded through a variety of local, regional, provincial, and federal grants. Money raised during this campaign helps every local CBAL team focus on specific literacy and learning needs in their community.

Donations can be made anytime online at cbal.org. Blue Sky Clothing socks are available through local community literacy outreach co-ordinators. T-shirts can be purchased online from Oct. 12 to 26 and Nov. 16 to 30.

For more information, go to cbal.org/books4kids.

Creston Valleyfundraiser