Tuesday, February 05, 2008

RAISE-A-READER FUNDING FROM PROVINCE

The Province is contributing $19,704 in matching funding to the Nanaimo Daily News 2007 Raise-a-Reader campaign, Premier Gordon Campbell and Nanaimo-Parksville MLA Ron Cantelon announced today.

“Through Raise-a-Reader more families are being exposed to the wonders of reading and the opportunities that go with it,” said Campbell. “It’s great to see the community of Nanaimo working so hard to promote literacy, so that others might have a chance at a better quality of life.”

The matching funding for the CanWest Raise-a-Reader campaign will go to Literacy Nanaimo, which has set up a committee to select local organizations to receive grants.

“Thanks to this fundraising campaign, local literacy organizations are going to receive nearly $40,000 to help those in our community who struggle with reading and writing,” said Cantelon. “I believe it is important that we provide supports to those who need assistance in developing or improving their skills. Not only did we raise a lot of money, but I had a great time participating in this event and encourage others to get involved in the future. I’m proud to say that we raised more money than most other similarly-sized communities this year and I look forward to doing so again next year. “

The Province has previously supported campaigns in Vancouver and Victoria, and this year, support was extended to inaugural CanWest campaigns in Kelowna, Nanaimo, Penticton, Port Alberni and Prince George. All proceeds raised from the 2007 campaign’s street sales stay in the community where they were collected, and are distributed to local literacy organizations to improve literacy for children and families across the province.

“Raise-a-Reader helps provide families with the gift of literacy,” said Education Minister Shirley Bond. “Developing an appreciation for reading at an early age will benefit a person right up through their adult years.”

“We were pleased to participate in our first ever Raise-a-Reader campaign,” said Wayne Kuss, sales and service director of the Nanaimo Daily News. “We couldn't have raised the money that we did without the help of 7-11 and the Assante Group. Thanks also to the B.C. government’s matching funding, Literacy Nanaimo will provide the gift of reading to those in need.”

The Province has been matching funds raised through the campaign since 2004, and to date has contributed over $2.4 million. B.C.’s funding this year will help to support more than 180 beneficiary organizations and help British Columbia continue to lead the country in Raise-a-Reader fundraising. Since its inception in Vancouver in 1997, the Raise-a-Reader campaign and its sponsors have made significant contributions to help improve literacy for children and families across the province.

Since 2001, the Province has announced over $131 million in new literacy programs in support of its goal of making British Columbia the best-educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent. ReadNow BC is the Province’s comprehensive literacy action plan to help provide adults, Aboriginal people, K-12 students and preschoolers with the skills they need to succeed. ReadNow BC was introduced one year ago and has been supported with nearly $44.5 million in provincial funding. Visit the website at www.readnowbc.ca.


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