SERVING OUR COMMUNITY
Princeton Leaders for Literacy (PLFL) consists of a small board of active and dedicated volunteers and one Literacy Outreach Coordinator who holds a paid position. Princeton Family Services Society stewards the literacy task force, so PLFL is able to operate and apply for grants as a non-profit.
PLFL meets monthly and/or by email to discuss programs and make literacy decisions around funding and meaningful community impact.
The Red Bookshelf Program offers books free of charge to the community to borrow or keep. The community has really embraced the Red Bookshelf program and it has become self-sustaining through donations. Riverside Community Centre provides a space to house the red bookshelf.
The "Books for Babies" infant literacy bags are provided at a minimal cost to the community. This program was initiated at the request of Health Nurse Beatrice Bibby. Princeton Leaders for Literacy successfully applied to become part of an outstanding North American book program called First Book Canada in 2013 and continues to apply for book grants through the non-profit organization. The books are free through generous corporate sponsors who believe literacy is a priority for children. To date, approximately twelve thousand dollars worth of beautiful books (1181 books) have been awarded to PLFL for distribution to children.Books were distributed to several literacy initiatives; Books for Babies, One-to-One Reading, Your Arm...Your Book and The Amazing Literacy Race.
Your Arm...Your Book is an initiative to make immunization day for Kindergarten students more positive and it has worked. The health nurse provides a literacy goody bag to children in exchange for their “arm” temporarily for the immunization. Children have left with smiles on their faces instead of tears as a result and parents have been thrilled with the free books and ease with which their child has accepted their shot.
The Senior Computer Program was and is inspired by seniors. A need was identified for beginner to intermediate computer training for seniors. The courses have been offered through Princeton Skills Centre. The program is aiding seniors to embrace the computer world while learning new skills for life and their community involvement as volunteers. Seniors are becoming less isolated and more engaged in their community.
The Amazing Literacy Race is a fundraising initiative supported by School District #58. It is held in the spring. The event engages students from Vermilion Forks Elementary School to participate in a Literacy Race in the community. The Race involves corporate sponsorship. Physical literacy, creative literacy, financial literacy, power sense literacy, healthy eating literacy, swimming and boating safety and historical literacy were all a part of the event. The event involved local business, schools, and community in a fun way while promoting literacy for life skills.
The Human Upload Computer Pilot Project is providing one-on-one tutoring to learners of all ages who need help navigating the world of computers and technology. Princeton Secondary School currently has two volunteer students participating in the second year of this program in partnership with the Princeton Branch of Okanagan Regional Library. The program is at no cost to the community, but addresses a strong need for one-on-one computer skills training through the local library. This year the students have had more requests for technological assistance than in 2014. Those requesting help are looking for simple tutoring guidance with their personal laptops, doing online searches, learning to use their tablets and other simple technological advice.
Celebrity Reading Day is organized through the LOC. It is held at John Allison Elementary School and involves 6 celebrity readers and one hour of classroom time. Celebrities briefly explain to students why literacy is important to them in their jobs and then, read to the students from their favourite books. Celebrity Reading Day is held in conjunction with Family Literacy Week.
Volunteer Reading Program assistance was requested from John Allison Elementary School from PLFL. The LOC works with John Allison Elementary School to find and schedule in a group of reading volunteers whose job it is to listen to students from assigned grades read to them in a one-on-one situation. The LOC ensures that the tasks of approved Criminal Record Checks, orientation, scheduling and classroom assignments are done.
Reading Teacher support is also, being provided. The LOC gives books to the Reading Teacher at John Allison Elementary School to use as stepping stone rewards for students who reached reading goals throughout the year.
Bedtime and Books is an old family literacy night event that was re-introduced for the 2013/14 school year with the assistance of the LOC. The LOC finds books for the 2 family nights held over the school year and assists in finding celebrity readers for the event. Every child who attends goes home with a literacy bag containing books. The school district provides snacks and hot chocolate.
Ready, Set, Learn also, requested books for their program. This program is another “learn to love reading” school district approved series of literacy focussed sessions. The LOC provides books for the program to give away at the final day as an incentive to encourage life long reading.
Empower is a new program that PLFL is exploring undertaking. Local LOC Dierra Maynard has identified a program already being provided by another school district to help raise self-esteem and confidence in teenage girls and boys. Maynard is searching for funding opportunities and developing a literacy plan to implement a weekend youth retreat for teenagers. MLA Jackie Teggart has also, been spoken to about the program and has provided some funding possibilities for the program and is quite excited to see it transpire.
The VFE Playground Project is an initiative to secure funding for new playground equipment for Vermilion Forks Elementary School. Much of the free play equipment has been removed from school grounds for safety reasons and has not been replaced. The staff at VFE asked LOC Dierra Maynard to use her extensive grant writing knowledge and ability to help secure funding for Phase 2 of the VFE Playground.
Princeton Family Services Society