Raise a Reader week (September 20 -27) is a national, award winning Postmedia initiative aimed at supporting early literacy in children and families. Through partnerships between local news and media outlets, community based literacy organisations are able to spread awareness of their work and raise funding to provide literacy supports and materials to children in their community.
In the Comox Valley, Raise a Reader week is supported through an annual multi page insert in the Record, with sponsorship opportunities offered to local businesses in the form of print advertisements to promote their services and products as well as demonstrate their commitment to building literacy in our community. These ads appear alongside stories of literacy initiatives in our community. Learn more about the sponsorship process by following the link on this page.
Every dollar raised through Raise a Reader in our community, stays in our community.
Why invest in literacy?
In BC, one in three children are “developmentally vulnerable” when beginning kindergarten and 15% of students do not complete high school by the expected time (Human Early Learning Partnership, 2016; BC Ministry of Education, 2018). 45% of BC’s adults struggle with the skills necessary to read a newspaper, fill out a work application form, or understand a lease (PIAAC, 2013).
TO BUILD OUR ECONOMY
A 1% rise in average literacy scores would generate $57 billion in economic growth every year in Canada. This is three times the return we get if we invest in physical capital. This rise in literacy also creates a 5% increase in productivity (Canada West Foundation, 2019).
TO IMPROVE JOB OPPORTUNITIES
People with low proficiency in literacy tend to have lower rates of employment, and they tend to work in occupations with lower skill requirements. Adult wage rates are also highly related to literacy skill. Average earnings for an adult with “less than high school” are $23,000, compared to $60,000 for adults with a university degree. (Frontier College, no date).
TO BUILD COMMUNITY
Building literacy starts by building of relationships between people and supports. As those relationships deepen over time, literacy helps promote a sense of connection in civic life, and strengthens the institutions in our community.
TO IMPROVE HEALTH & WELLNESS
People with low literacy skills have poorer overall health. Low literacy skills lead to misuse of medication or misunderstanding of health information. Reading practices in daily life are strongly related to health literacy (Canadian Council on Learning, 2008).
TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN
There is a direct correlation between literacy levels and quality of life. Parents who have strong literacy skills and who have pursued further education increase the probability of their children’s success in school and lifelong learning. Investing in a parent’s learning is a direct investment in their children’s literacy abilities.
Have questions about Raise-a-Reader? Contact Executive Director, Peter Bazovský at CVLLC here.
Want to get in touch with a media contact? Connect with Publisher, Keith Currie at Comox Valley Record here.
Want to connect with Comox Valley Raise-a-Reader on Facebook? Click here.
The Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Centre devotes 100% of funding to a collaborative approach to strengthening literacy in our community. Our team of 80 volunteers helps build capacity among over 120 members of our community annually.
In 2018/2019, funds from Raise-a-Reader provided support with the provision of family literacy programs which reached over 300 families in the Comox Valley. In conjunction with community partners, we offered programs ranging from supporting parents with learning to read with their children, understanding safety and privacy in the digital era and providing books and materials to low-income families.
Some of these programs included:
Basic financial literacy for new and expecting parents
“Come read with me” for parents of 5-6 year olds
Family Literacy Week 2018
Books for Treats 2018
Family Literacy Outreach Program (Queneesh Elementary)
Mother Goose and More (Courtenay Elementary)
Your support is a direct investment in Comox Valley families and children.