The Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS) has welcomed Darcy Calkins as the new Literacy Outreach coordinator for the North Okanagan-Shuswap area.
Calkins is a busy, active mum of four who loves to cook yet still finds time to curl up with a good book.
Originally from Salmon Arm, Calkins went farther afield to the University of Victoria where she earned a bachelor of engineering before heading to the University of Calgary to earn her Bachelor of Education. She travelled farther still to Bangladesh to teach for a year before landing in the Sooke School District where she taught high school mathematics.
In 2012 – 20 years after she graduated from high school in Salmon Arm – Calkins returned to her hometown with her young family and will now oversee all of the LASS literacy programs and initiatives as the new Literacy Outreach Coordinator.
Calkins will be taking over the position from Jennifer Findlay who has been with LASS for the past five-and-a-half years. It is with mixed feelings that Findlay leaves the organization to continue her work with School District #83.
“It has been so amazing to watch this community literacy organization grow over the years. Back in 2010, I was the sole employee and my kitchen table, mini-van, and local coffee shops were my office spaces,” remembers Findlay.
LASS currently has eight employees, more than 200 dedicated volunteers, a downtown office space and many literacy programs for learners of all ages.
“I am so grateful for all of the amazing people in our community who have helped support LASS and community literacy over the years – our volunteer board, LASS staff, volunteers, community organizations, local businesses, local media, and government officials,” said Findlay. “I will greatly miss connecting, collaborating and learning from them all but I plan to be a continued community supporter of LASS and all things literacy-related.”