Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is helping Basin communities continue to address literacy issues by renewing its partnership with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL). CBT is committing $1.32 million over three years, or $440,000 per year. This is an increase of 10 per cent over the previous partnership agreement of $400,000 per year, and is a response to increased demands for CBAL’s programs.
“CBT wants to support communities in setting and addressing their own literacy priorities,” said Neil Muth, CBT President and CEO. “Given CBAL’s demonstrated track record and the increased demand for the services it provides, we’re excited we can both renew our partnership and increase our support.
CBAL works by assisting communities as they tackle their individual literacy needs. Results include programs and resources focused on topics like reading, writing, early language learning, English as a second language and computer literacy. Over 7,000 people accessed CBAL programs in 2010/11.
“Our renewed partnership with CBT is a key factor in helping us meet increasing community demands for our programs, ensuring communities can access a range of literacy support services based on their own priorities,” said Ali Wassing, CBAL Executive Director.
CBAL was the first group in the province to formally use the community development approach to literacy planning. This approach means that CBAL works with local volunteers to identify a community’s literacy needs and what supports could be offered to meet those needs. CBAL also partners with local and regional organizations like colleges, school districts and libraries, spotting gaps and ensuring there is no overlap in services.
CBT has partnered with CBAL since CBAL’s inception in 2001. The partnership renewal brings CBT’s total contribution to the organization to over $4 million.
CBAL is a non-profit charitable organization that supports literacy development in the communities of the Columbia Basin and Boundary region of southeastern British Columbia. For more information, visit www.cbal.org or call 1.800.342.4244.