|February 1999||Laubach Literacy of BC||Volume 3, Number 1|
Hitch Our Wagons!
Laubach Canada has its roots in the Maritimes. It is well respected and has strong support from government and educators. But it wasn't always that way.
There is a wonderful story about Thelma Blinn, the woman who first brought Laubach to Canada. She saw a great need for literacy in Nova Scotia, where she lived. This was about thirty years ago. She would pull her Laubach material around in a wagon and take it on the bus to wherever she could train tutors. Her volunteer efforts have paid off when you see the number of councils and their support systems that exist all through the East. This is partially due to the closeness of communities to one another, although it may have felt very far to Thelma when she took her wagon on the bus!
Now can you imagine the same scenario in BC with our vast distances between communities. When Laubach first came to BC, it was centered in Vancouver and distances were, and remain, a huge problem.. But BC has its own share of trailblazers, Crystal Lee, one of the first fieldworkers, comes to mind. She lived in Chase and commuted to Vancouver. While in Vancouver she lived with Marilyn Hunley, another trailblazer, during the week. I remember the trips Crystal took to Golden,Revelstoke and anywhere else that showed an interest. There were winter conditions with icy roads and long distances and time away from home. This hasn't changed.
In 1995, the field office was moved to Kamloops, which is a more central location. Jan Seedhouse has been blazing her own trail around the province ever since. Jan doesn't pull a wagon, but she does pack a load of material. She has traveled by van, bus and airplane to distant communities.
You may wonder where all this is leading. Well, it's about the vastness of our wonderful province and all the volunteers and staff who work hard at maintaining cohesiveness for Laubach councils. Although the councils are far apart and we may not know each other in person, there is a bond between us as we work with our learners. However, there remains a need for at least two field workers and more representation for the West on the National Board of Laubach Literacy of Canada (LLC).
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