January 12, 2004: Forum on family literacy

      January 12, 2004
      Contact: Michelle Lebeau

      (SQUAMISH, B.C.)—Champions come in all shapes and sizes, from all ages and cultures, and from all walks of life. On Wednesday, January 28, the Squamish Public Library and Capilano College, both members of the Regional Literacy Coordination Project, will host a Breakfast of Champions for those people who want to, or need to, learn more about literacy issues. The free event will be held at the Squamish Public Library, 37907 2nd Avenue, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. To register, call 604.892.5322, or e-mail mlebeau@cdo.capcollege.bc.ca.

      In recognition of National Family Literacy Day on January 27, this fourth annual community event will offer presentations by regional literacy champions Stephanie Wells, project coordinator, Whistler-Mt. Currie Learning Communities Partnership; Jane Balance, implementation manager, Putting Children First Initiative; and Karen Farr, community speech-language pathologist, Vancouver Coast Health Authority. A light breakfast will be served, compliments of event sponsors Starbucks and McDonald’s.

      “Champions are people who are concerned about literacy issues, but who want to learn more,” says regional literacy coordinator, Michelle Lebeau. “They range from elected officials, to workers in the education field, to members of the general public who realize the importance of reading and writing.”

      Maintaining good literacy skills is important at any stage in life, the College instructor adds. Studies show that literacy skills are like muscles – the more they’re used, the stronger they become. In order to maintain good literacy skills, they must be used regularly. The “use it or lose it” principle is reinforced by the fact that 22 per cent of adult Canadians have serious problems dealing with any printed materials. An additional 24 per cent can only deal with simple reading tasks.

      “The speakers are just part of the puzzle,” Lebeau says. “All will bring information about how they are making a difference in our community and about the need for literacy in children and adults.

      “School readiness in young children is influenced by their parents’ level of education,” she adds. “The higher the level of a parent’s education, the more likely the child will succeed. Without crucial parental support, the cycle of under-education continues in families from generation to generation.”

      For a complete schedule of information, contact event coordinator, Michelle Lebeau, at 604.892.5322, or visit www.capilanou.ca/news-events/squamish/index.xhtml. For more information on literacy issues, visit www.abc-canada.org.

      The Squamish campus of Capilano College plays an active role in contributing to the economic diversity of the region through its programs, community event involvement, such as the Hot Jazz and Tapas evenings, literacy events, and its speaker series. Some of the programs, courses and services it currently offers include: preparatory programs, university transfer courses, a new festival and events coordination program, wilderness leadership training, continuing education courses, the cooks training program, the distance learning centre, and much more.

      For more information on College programs, call 604.892.5322.


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