This past few weeks, Agassiz Library has had what we called the Read for Life program, which had the goal and challenge of raising awareness on how a community can provide help for people that have difficulties with their reading and writing.
The nationwide facts tell us that people with low reading, writing and number skills tend to have lower rates of employment, make less money, on average have more health problems and feel on the “outside” in their home towns. This applies to communities large and small all across Canada, and is about people born and raised in our country, not just those that have immigrated here.
The hope was that Agassiz Library, as well as our sister branches all throughout the Fraser Valley Regional Library, could raise awareness on this topic of adult literacy. With a library full of materials that can help anyone who wants to improve their reading, writing and number skills as well as a fantastic CALL (Community Adult Learning and Literacy) program, there isn’t anyone in Agassiz-Harrison who could not find help with this part of their lives.
This was the goal of our Read for Life awareness program. The challenge was getting the word out. We all know the popular saying, “It takes a village …” and once again our local businesses and organizations in Agassiz-Harrison proved they are the “village” that is here for its residents, helping spread this important message.
So, we had the goal, we had the challenge and the support to meet that challenge, and we did it by offering a free book day all over public places in Agassiz and Harrison in which each book available for the taking was also filled with information on where a person could go for help improving their own literacy skills.
You will have seen boxes of books around town with a sign proclaiming “Free Book Day.” You saw these boxes at the Agassiz-Harrison Observer, Agassiz Super Valu, Agassiz-Harrison Community Services Thrift Store, District of Kent Fitness Centre, Agassiz Post Office, Harrison Hot Springs Post Office, Agassiz Community Health Centre, Agassiz Liquor Store and the Agassiz Public Health Unit. By agreeing to have these books and information packages available to everyone, our communities had the chance to find out what help is right here close to home if they want to improve reading, writing and number skills. It is all about not feeling embarrassed; it is all about each of us helping the other to improve lives.
Was the Read for Life Free Book Day a success? Absolutely! We are all a little more aware, we know where people can go to improve their personal situation, and we did it by working together. It doesn’t get more successful than that.
Agassiz Library profoundly thanks the above organizations and businesses for helping us to spread awareness of the importance of improving literacy, that Reading for Life for is how things get better for ourselves and neighbours.
Library Supervisor, Agassiz Library