Community literacy reports - January 2011

Yesterday noon, the freight train of cold, dry air roaring down out of Nunavut finally gave way to warmer air spinning up out of the Ohio Valley. But 'warmer' can be a relative term in late January. Which is why last evening's bookwagon wasn't quite as much fun as it might have been.

Still, over the hour and a half we were out, we lent 55 books to two adults and 12 kids. We got flagged down by a little guy, wading across a darkened field of snow, and by somebody's dad yelling out an upstairs window. "He's coming out!" But, mostly, we knocked on the doors of regulars.

At one stop, a mom asked us to start bringing her shorter, easier books. "You mean, like easy reads?" Cheryl asked. "Yes. Easy reads." Since I don't know what she means by "easy" I'll pack a box of different levels - say, the upper end PRACE readers through to the rapid-reads/easy-reads/good-reads proper.

After, we hung around for a Tenant's Association meeting. We're associate or non-voting members, and also head up the literacy subcommittee and give monthly literacy reports. I took a box of adult books to the meeting with me - just on the chance. In our report, we talked about the family game night we're helping out with at the local Resource Centre, and the tickets we're selling on a family basket of books for children, teens and adults - a bit of promo and fundraising for family literacy day. We gave information about newer phone and internet technologies and maybe more effective communication strategies. And we talked a little with the government rep about some of the things she's hoping to accomplish over the next year. The meeting wrapped up about eight o'clock. I wolfed down a bunch of those little triangle sandwiches and some kind of lemon cake, and then we scooted out to Walmart to look at the spot they're giving us for ticket sales on Saturday. By nine, I was home eating a real supper, and wondering again if we'll ever get paid to do this kind of thing.

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