Write to Read is a volunteer effort on the part of many individuals who have contributed their time and effort to create a library system for remote First Nations communities in BC. The organization was first started by former Lt. Governor of BC the Honourable Steven Point, who decided that bringing books to the remote communities he visited was a good idea to promote literacy.
His aide de camp at the time was Bob Blacker, a retired police officer and the former Regional Governor of Rotary District 5040, an organization consisting of nearly 100 Rotary clubs around British Columbia. The two started working together to bring books to the communities they were visiting. While His Honour has retired from his position, Bob continues to be “W2R Leader” for the entire Write to Read Project, working as a volunteer from his home.
Taking up the position of Lt. Governor of BC after the term expired for Steven Point was Her Honour Judith Guichon, who decided to continue the legacy of literacy first set up by her predecessor. Her Hounour continues to officiate at the openings of all Write to Read libraries, fitting in these events with the multitude of other duties required of her office. She is a strong supporter of literacy and First Nations.
Scott Kemp is a professional architect who has been involved with the Write to Read Project since the beginning, drawing up designs for several projects and travelling to remote communities to oversee planning and construction. Scott has volunteered his time at no charge and assisted greatly with the design of new modules to be built.
The LRT (Library Response Team) are an essential component of the W2r Project. They are a group of professional librarians who have donated endless hours of their time, skills and effort to gather and catalog books in the unheated storage locker in South Surrey where Write to Read keeps its mammoth collection of donated books. The LRT team makes sure that all books are properly catalogued and personally delivered to all libraries in advance of Grand Openings.
W2R publicist and webmaster Michael McCarthy is a novelist, videographer and professional freelance journalist whose articles appear in many Canadian newspapers. Formerly referred to as “the Lt. Governor’s initiative to assist aboriginal literacy,” Michael decided that such an explanation was far too wordy, so he re-named and branded the effort as the Write to Read Project, misspelling it on purpose to reflect his own brand of humour.
Shirley-pat Chamberlain is an unofficial champion and sparkplug of the Write to Read Project, a human dynamo who injects energy and ideas into the campaign by writing grant proposals and energizing everyone she meets.
Telus Corporation executives have been strong supporters of Write to Read and their team will be bringing fibre optic capability to selected First Nations communities that will allow for long distance learning and video conferencing.
Brian van Sickle is an IT professional who has been essential in bringing W2R to “Version 4,” which is the delivery of handheld computer tablets to many libraries, thereby expanding the number of students that can access the internet.
Kelly Edzerza-Bapty is a new member of the Write to Read team. She comes via a recommendation from architect Scott Kemp. She is First Nations and is the second indigenous woman to complete her Masters in Architecture at UBC. Kelly will become an integral part of our Design Response Team. The DRT is comprised of Scott Kemp, Kelly and Mike Herold. Kelly could not have joined the team at a more important time with our project as we have become a victim of our own success in that we have many communities asking for learning centres. In addition to designing our learning centres Kelly is also going to design our furniture.