Judges love local’s literacy love letter

A local teacher's submission finished in fifth place at a provincial literary contest.

Diane Twiss (left)

Diane Twiss (left)

A local teacher’s submission finished in fifth place at a provincial literary contest.

Cara Carmelo’s fifth place finish was announced at the Literacy for Life gala event in Vancouver, as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of literacy in everyday life.

Carmelo submitted a creative entry via email as part of the contest in the form of a love letter, explaining what literacy means to her, how it has impacted her life and what she’s done to cultivate and promote literacy in Cranbrook.

“Although [literacy and I] have had our ups and downs, we have persevered like any true love does,” she wrote, describing an emotional and compelling story of her relationship with literacy that began when she started reading at a young age.

After embarking on a career in teaching, she has transferred her knowledge into passing on her experiences with literacy to others with similar struggles. “Recently, I have been tutoring a man who struggles to know the deeper you, literacy,” she writes. “You are my light, literacy, may you never burn out.”

She had accepted a teaching position overseas in the summer, and her award was accepted by Katherine Hough, a local Literacy Outreach Coordinator, on her behalf.

Organized by Decoda Literacy Solutions, the Literacy for Life campaign is a province-wide fundraising and awareness campaign. The campaign is the result of an effort to highlight the importance of literacy and raise funds to ensure that community-based literacy programs across the province are supported.

According to Decoda Literacy Solutions, roughly 40 per cent of B.C. adults don’t have the literacy skills to read a newspaper, fill out a work application form, read a map or understand a residential lease.