Community-led literacy programs support communities to build community networks, partnerships and relationships to enhance local literacy programming. Community literacy programs are about engaging community partners and giving them the tools to identify their own literacy needs, opportunities and programs and for building capacity throughout British Columbia. For more information see the UBC 2010 report on community literacy planning.
Since 2005, the province of British Columbia has provided $6.5M to public libraries in British Columbia to support literacy and life-long learning. Libraries use literacy funds to expand their collections and services which support literacy in their community. Libraries are encouraged to use their grant funding in collaboration with other public libraries, federations and literacy organizations. The Report on Outcomes of Provincial Funding for Literacy in BC’s Libraries (2013) demonstrates some of the key impacts of this funding.
Literacy is more than just reading and writing. It’s a key strategy which can help solve fundamental societal issues and economic challenges. At all stages of our lives, literacy is essentially about decoding information, events and situations so we can succeed and prosper. Now, more than ever before, literacy is all about making sense of the modern world. (From Decoda Literacy Solutions)
District Literacy Plans
Review the comprehensive literacy plans prepared by school districts in collaboration with community partners. The plans support all members of the community, from early learners to adults.
Learn how school districts are partnering with other organizations such as libraries, colleges, community groups and businesses to support the literacy needs of all community members. Examine the planning process in the District Literacy Planning Guide (PDF).
Use the practical Community Literacy Planning Guide (PDF, 2.05MB) to learn more about how community literacy planning happens to increase literacy levels of all people in your community.
Council of the Federation Literacy Award
As a way to promote literacy at the provincial and territorial level and raise its profile across Canada, Premiers created a Council of the Federation Literacy Award medallion. This award recognizes outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy. Thirteen Council of the Federation Literacy medallions are presented annually, one for each province and territory. Past BC winners are listed below.
The 2013 call for nominations is now underway. Please download the application form (DOCX) and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 31, 2013. For more information, please visit the Council of the Federation website.
2012 Winner - Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS)
LASS approached the literacy scene with the attitude of “what can we do to help or support you” rather than “this is what we’re doing.” In addition to fostering community collaboration and partnerships, LASS has delivered a variety of well-received literacy programs that target learners across all ages and sectors.
For example, the One-to-One Children’s Literacy Program has involved over 200 community volunteers across 13 schools. Participating children increased their reading speed by 10 and 82 per cent and their reading accuracy by 12 and 41 per cent in only four months.
LASS exemplifies commitment to innovative literacy practices and positive literacy outcomes for all learners as they work to weave literacy into the culture of the communities in School District 83 – North Okanagan Shuswap.
- 2012 Recipient Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS)
- News Release: Society Fosters Literacy in North Okanagan-Shuswap (PDF, 249KB)
Past Year's Recipients
- 2011 Recipient Dee McRae
- 2011 Honorable Mention Allison Taylor McBryde
- 2010 Recipient Pete Grinberg
- 2010 Honorable Mention Annette Rogers
- 2009 Recipient Laurie Gould
- 2008 Recipient Janice Douglas
- 2007 Recipient (PDF, 265KB)
- 2006 Recipient (PDF, 175KB)
- 2005 Recipient (PDF, 114KB)
ReadNow BC 2007-2011
Literacy is the foundation of lifelong learning. Higher levels of literacy contribute to better social and economic outcomes for individuals and society. Recognizing this, in January 2007 Government launched ReadNow BC, the provincial literacy action plan, to raise awareness and enable coordination of literacy programs and services in communities. Five years later, the profile of literacy in BC has increased significantly. For many British Columbians, it is now the key to lifelong learning. Please see ReadNow BC's Final Report (PDF, 2.74MB) for a summary of the provincial literacy action plan.