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Week of literacy events planned for corridor


Literacy is important: it rewards those who are proficient and penalizes those who are not. For the individual, literacy affects employment success, income and life chances.

  • from Reading the Future: A Portrait of Literacy in Canada

Enhancing life chances is at the core of a series of workshops, meetings, displays and readings being held in communities from Squamish to D’Arcy next week.

Highway of Words is the biggest literacy event ever co-ordinated in the Sea to Sky corridor. The range of activities and events, includes Family Storytime at the Whistler Public Library; a workshop on dyslexia, at Capilano College in Squamish; information on literacy at parent-infant drop-in sessions hosted by Coast Garibaldi Health Unit; and a Books and Beer fund-raiser with Jurgen Goeth for the Squamish Public Library.

"One area I wish we could spend more on is awareness of the level of need for literacy programs," said Capilano College’s Michelle Lebeau, regional literacy co-ordinator for Squamish.

In Canada, 42 per cent of adults (16-65 years old) are below the level of literacy considered appropriate in order to function effectively in today’s society, according to Human Resources Development Canada. Highway of Words, which takes place Oct. 15-21, is attempting to address this problem from a number of angles.

An Oct. 19 workshop, for example, examines new ways to look at learning and teaching, including ideas presented in the book The Gift of Dyslexia . People with dyslexia are visual and spatial thinkers and often struggle with conventional teaching methods, but they also have unique talents that can allow them to learn faster than non-visual thinkers. The workshop at Capilano College’s Squamish campus starts at 9 a.m. Registration is required.

The co-ordinated approach to Highway of Words came from a partnership between Capilano College’s regional literacy co-ordination program and local libraries. Funding was provided by the Adult Literacy Cost Shared Program, a program supported by Human Resources Development Canada’s National Literacy Secretariat, and B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education.

Feature community events include:

Positive Energy: A Key to Success, Monday, Oct. 15, noon-3 p.m., Capilano College, Squamish.

TS’ZIL Learning Centre Open House, Wednesday, Oct. 17, noon-4 p.m., Mount Currie.

ABE/Literacy Instructors’ Networking Meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 4-6 p.m., Capilano College, Squamish.

Focus on Abilities, Friday, Oct. 19, 9-12:30 p.m., Capilano College, Squamish.

Whistler Public Library community events include: Family Storytime, Sunday, Oct. 21, 10:30 a.m.

Squamish Public Library community events include:

Books and Babies, Monday, Oct. 15, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Time for Tots, Sunday, Oct. 21, 11-noon.

Storytime for Preschoolers (3 year olds), Monday, Oct. 15, 12:30-1:15 p.m.

Storytime for Preschoolers (4-5 year olds), Tuesday, Oct. 16, 11-noon.

After School Club, Monday, Oct. 15, and Tuesday, Oct. 16, 3:30-5 p.m.

Books and Beer Library Fundraiser, Tuesday, Oct. 16, Eagle Eye Theatre at Howe Sound secondary school.

Coast Garibaldi Health Unit — Squamish

Parent-Infant Drop In, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Coast Garibaldi Health Unit — Whistler

Parent-Infant Drop In, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 11-12:30 p.m.

Coast Garibaldi Health Unit — Pemberton

Parent-Infant Drop In — Monday, Oct. 12, 11-12:30 p.m.

For more information on Highway of Words’ events and activities contact Lebeau at 604-892-5322.