READ Saskatoon Annual Campaign 2017
“Good morning, READ Saskatoon.”
Many times when I answer the phone I hear the stories of people in our community contacting us for the first time. As READ Saskatoon’s Office Manager, I’ve been taking these calls and greeting people at our office for the last five years.
People contact us for various literacy needs and I can tell you it takes a great deal of courage to pick up the phone, let alone walk through our doors. One in three Saskatchewan adults struggle with literacy, making the simplest of tasks seem monumental. At first, people feel helpless, but they are always relieved to know that they aren’t alone.
Victor Hugo once said, “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark”
I’ve seen firsthand how READ Saskatoon ignites these sparks in our clients. After the first meeting with a literacy co-ordinator, clients leave our office filled with a newfound sense of purpose…and hope.
Thanks to annual funding from the provincial government and dedicated support from donors, we provided free, accessible and relevant literacy programming to 3,500 people last year. In our 38 years of existence, READ Saskatoon has served approximately 20,000 people!
In order to continue to reach as many people as we do, if not more, I am writing today to ask you to consider supporting READ Saskatoon’s Ignite a Spark campaign.
The positive impact of improved literacy skills is enormous. These skills help people achieve independence, get jobs, strengthen their family’s literacy, improve their quality of life and education levels, and even spark new relationships within their communities.
Our Adult Literacy program helps clients achieve personal goals by matching them with trained volunteer literacy coaches. Ibrahim, for example, needed to get his forklift certification to further his job opportunities at work. He worked closely with his coach to better understand job-specific documents and earned his certification.
Last year, four out of five adult participants achieved their goals, including: earning their GED, getting a promotion or achieving other work success, enrolling in post-secondary education, reading to their children, being their own health advocate, or even texting their families!
“I have completed Grade 12! I am so much more confident in my job as a cashier. I volunteer at the Open Door Society and I can’t wait to go back to school!” – Kathy, Adult Literacy Program Participant.
Since children’s literacy development starts at home and in the community before they even start school, we offer eight- to 12-week family literacy programs and one-time events throughout the year. Last year, 88% of family literacy program participants reported increased literacy habits and activities to help their children read at home. Bedtime stories and other activities ignite a love of reading.
“The learning that happens in your own house isn’t structured, but it encourages kids to explore and be curious about the world around them.” – Nabila, Family Literacy Participant
Our Financial Literacy program consists of a five-part workshop series for adults in the community to help them make informed financial decisions. Two-thirds of our participants made changes in their money management last year, while 30% made monthly contributions to new accounts (i.e. RESPs, RRSPs, etc.).
“READ Saskatoon is a place to start talking about saving for your children. When you commit to investing in your children’s financial future … they will have the support they need to go out and make the world a better place for all of us.” – Masesi, Financial Literacy Program Participant and Volunteer
One of the best parts of my job is witnessing the thousands of sparks, and later fires, READ Saskatoon ignites each year through improved literacy skills in people of all ages from all walks of life and cultures.
This year we are excited to announce the Korchinski Family Foundation (KFF) has graciously offered to match all donations of $500 or more (up to $10,000) for our Ignite a Spark campaign. The Korchinski family is proud make a positive impact in our community by supporting organizations that provide personal and professional development in Saskatchewan.
In addition to being the Office Manager at READ Saskatoon, I’m proud to be a donor, too. Please join me in supporting READ Saskatoon’s Ignite a Spark campaign so the literacy fires can continue to burn bright across our community in the year ahead.
Cecilia Mryglod, Office Manager