Friday March 9, 2012



Community News

Being Well-Read

Over 1500 Chilliwack residents read for 20 minutes daily

Staff/Voice photos


Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz helps draw names for prizes in the City Wide Literacy Challenge at City Hall on Tuesday.


ebbie Denault, from the Chilliwack Learning Community Society, stopped by the 98.3 Starfm studio Friday for a chat with morning show personalities Scott and Lisa about the City Wide Literacy Challenge Feb 1st - 21st.


For those who missed it, the following are highlights of their conversation, gratefully used with station permission.


How The Challenge Works

Organizations like Starfm, the Bookman, the Times and then a number of other organizations who partner with the Chilliwack Learning Community Society, put the word out to the community that we are challenging everybody to read.


Debbie Denault digresses at City Hall about the importance of being well-read.


What we put in the community are what we call 'drop boxes/ballot boxes' with hard copies of ballots.


The idea was for people to pickup a ballot from one of those places, or get one online, read for 21 days and tick off on the little calendar the number of days that they read, because if you didn't read the whole 21 days, that's totally okay, or if you heard about it late and started late, that's totally okay too.


At the end of the 21 days, people were asked to fill in their contact information and their age group and then send it back to us.


On Particpation in 2012

The last time we did it was 2010, so the total number of ballots that we counted was 455. This year, on Tuesday we presented the results to mayor and council and on Tuesday our number was 1,517. It went up after that and our total now is 1,598.


So that is a huge increase and so we're really, really excited that people took the challenge.



E-Readers and Kindle vs. Paper

There's nothing wrong with that (e-books), and I love the fact that sort of right here, there's two different preferences and that's what reading is all about.


One of my favourite ways to read is to listen to books electronically, on tape or CDs. What really matters is that we find the sort of reading, the kind of reading, the books we like to read. All of that, so that we can enjoy reading.


Reading is reading and sometimes you know we're in touch with parents who are concerned and often it's boys actually who aren't reading. So the school of thought is read. Just read. Comic books, magazines, just read whatever it is that sparks your interest because from there, you're following something that's of interest to you, or a passion and then you start learning and then it builds from there.


We love to hear from people about all kinds of different things to do with literacy and learning in Chilliwack. So, if there are people who did read during the Challenge, or decide to set themselves up with their own challenge, then do that and send us an e-mail. You can get our contact information from our website;


But also, even though you didn't get your ballots in, I did bring you in some prizes. I brought a bag of books.


These books are from an organization called First Books Canada and they are very generous. They collect books and they are new and they distribute them out to communities. Chilliwack received about 1200 new books.


We have more (books), so we're happy to hear from the community, or somebody that knows someone who'd appreciate a new book.


At this time we don't have information on our website about these new books, but people can e-mail me (here).


Thanks to all of the participants. Thanks so much to Starfm, the Bookman and the Times and all of the other organizations, the school districts, St. Mary's School, UFV, so many different organizations that really helped this to be a huge success.



Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice