September has once again officially been declared Provincial Literacy Month in the Agassiz-Harrison area.
Among the most critical pillars of local literacy is the Community Access to Literacy and Learning (CALL) program at Agassiz Harrison Community Services (AHCS). Leonne Beebe has been the literacy coordinator for the past three years.
The CALL program caters to people of all sorts of backgrounds and cultures. Beebe said many of her students are also working at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre. These particular students may have the ability to read and writeEnglish on an academic level, but they take the English as a Second language (ESL) classes to assist them with conversation and everyday use.
Students have also participated in the ESL classes as new Canadians (refugees). Adults who want to improve their English reading and writing skills also find wht they need through this program.
Beebe has also been involved with the popular Storytime in the Park Family Literacy program, which had to be shelved this year due to COVID-19. During the past two years, at the end of the Storytime in the Park program, Beebe has read the provincial proclamation from MLA Laurie Throness declaring September to be Literacy Month.
Two years ago, the literacy program was nominated for the Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards, specifically the Inclusive Environment award.
The official declaration from the District of Kent Mayor Sylvia Pranger reads as follows:
Whereas literacy is the key to opportunity for Canadians to increase their life chances and be successful in today’s modern world, as literacy is no longer simply the ability to read and write;
And whereas engaging children and youth in literacy programming ensures the best possible environment for getting a head start on literacy and lifelong learning;
And whereas solid literacy skills are vital to our country’s social and economic development; literacy offers all Canadians an opportunity to make a substantial contribution to the education, growth and prosperity of Canada.
And whereas many organizations in the District of Kent, the Village of Harrison Hot Springs, and the surrounding areas demonstrate daily through the work in their communities their commitment creating a culture of community-based literacy and learning;
Now, therefore, we do hereby proclaim this month of September 2020 as Literacy Month in B.C., in the Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs Communities and the surrounding areas.
To find out how you can help yourself or others to improve your/their English literacy skills, with AHCS’s CALL program or other support programs it offers, call Agassiz-Harrison Community Services at 604-796-2585 or visit them online at agassiz-harrisoncs.ca.
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