Story Studio Writing Society of Victoria (BC) receives 2020 COFLA national award

#Victoria; #StoryStudioWritingSociety; #COFLA; #GVPL; #DecodaLiteracySolutions

Victoria (B.C.), Sep 8 (Medium): B.C.’s 2020 Council of the Federation Literacy Award (COFLA) was granted to Victoria-based Story Studio Writing Society, a non-profit, literacy-focused organization demonstrating innovative leadership by inspiring, educating, and empowering youth through storytelling, media reports said.

Since 2001, more than $1.5 billion had been invested by the B.C. government in literacy and literacy-related initiatives for British Columbians.

“Storytelling is a valuable outlet that provides youth with the opportunity of self-reflection, expression and connection,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education in a news release. “Congratulations to Story Studio Writing Society on this remarkable achievement. You are having a positive impact by helping British Columbians, especially youth, to build their literacy skills, so they have the tools they need to succeed.”

Founded in 2011, Victoria-based Story Studio Writing Society’s volunteers, writers, and illustrators have worked with almost 10,000 youth, taking a unique, fun, and creative approach to improving their literacy skills to build self-confidence and have produced around 1,500 youth-authored books annually, creating a memorable experience for each young writer.

Working at the community level and partnering with a broad range of community organizations, including the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) and Royal BC Museum, Story Studio’s 80 percent programming recognizes marginalized or lower-income families’ needs with a focus on supporting and engaging vulnerable youth.

Story Studio, a registered charity, supported primarily by individual donations and grants, is currently running an innovative program with Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) to mentor teen writers. In August, with the help of last year’s COFLA award winner Morie Ford, the studio offered online workshops to a small group of immigrant mothers new to B.C. in the Family Literacy Outreach program in Vancouver. By the end of the program, each mother will create a short story that she can read to her young child.

Created by the Council of the Federation including all 13 provincial and territorial premier in 2004, the literacy award is presented to outstanding achievers in literacy in each province and territory.

Story Studio will receive a certificate signed by Premier John Horgan, a Council of the Federation Literacy Award medallion, and $500.

“We’re delighted to be recognized for the important work of our staff, volunteers, and donors,” said Sarah Tarnopolsky, board chair, Story Studio in the news release. “Stories help us process the present and imagine the future. Given the challenges our communities face, it’s now more important than ever for youth to be given the skills and space to tell their stories. That’s what Story Studio is here to do.”

More than 400 communities throughout British Columbia are being supported by community-based literacy and learning initiatives in partnership with Decoda Literacy Solutions, which provides resources, training, and funds to support.

“We congratulate Story Studio Writing Society as the recipient of the 2020 Council of the Federation Literacy Award,” said Margaret Sutherland, executive director, Decoda Literacy Solutions in the news release. “Studio Story inspires, educates, and empowers youth through storytelling. It is wonderful to see this fun and creative approach to improving literacy skills honored.”

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