Volunteers will be hocking newspapers at local West Coast Express stations this Wednesday hoping to raise some money to help kids learn to read.
Raise-A-Reader, an annual event that targets commuters across the Lower Mainland, takes place early Wednesday morning, and local organizer Lorraine Bates hopes people will give at least a loonie or toonie in exchange for a newspaper - money raised will stay in the community and be used for a variety of literacy initiatives.
Bates has been organizing the Raise-A-Reader event for six years - in addition to running Country Fest, Ghost Ridge, and the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper - because of her strong belief in promoting literacy.
"If you don't read - can't read - there's so many doors closed," she said.
School district senior staff and school trustees are just some of the volunteers who will collecting money at the stations. Jan Unwin, superintendent of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district, is team captain for the Maple Meadows Station for the fifth year running.
This year she has assembled a team of trustees and senior staff to collect money from commuters on their way to work.
They'll be handing out newspapers to commuters in exchange for their hard-earned cash - and she hopes people will have a few dollars in their pocket on Wednesday morning. "The problem is not a lot of people carry a lot of money [these days]," she said.
The idea of raising money for literacy aligns well with the school district's goals, she said, as being able to read is the key to success, adding that extra funding can help with extra support for students struggling to read.
"The least we can do is get out at 5 a.m.... and help them help us," she said, adding that "we support them because they support us."
Raise-A-Reader is an initiative of The Vancouver Sun, and has been going on since 1997.
It has raised more than $6.9 million so far.
Last year, local donations for Raise-A-Reader totalled about $1,000, all of which went into local initiatives.
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