Next week, on Jan. 27th, we will celebrate Family Literacy Day.
Family Literacy Day was started in 1999 as a national awareness initiative to emphasize the importance of reading and other literacy-related activities as a family.
The organizers of the annual event, ABC Life Literacy Canada, say taking time each day to read or do a learning activity with a child can be crucial to their development. They say even just 15 minutes each day can improve a child’s literacy skills and can assist parents as well.
As a parent, by reading to children or participating in literacy activities, your own skills will stay sharp along with strengthening your relationship with your family. It can also encourage lifelong learning, said organizers.
Some suggested activities by ABC include doing a number walk – as you put on your shoes, choose something you want to count during your walk. It could be dogs, trees, stop signs, cars—anything you want. On your walk, count how many you can find. Create a word wall – learn one new word every day. Display them by creating a family word wall with Bristol board and markers. Create an obstacle course – build an obstacle course through your family room and draw a map of how to go through it from beginning to end. Have a ‘book-nic’ – organize an indoor picnic with books and tasty treats; or start family board game nights and play a different game each week. Family members can take turns reading instructions and game cards as well as keeping score.
Several activities have been planned in the region before Jan. 27th including a celebration called a ‘Gerald and Piggie Party’ on Jan. 23rd from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. held at the Mary C. Moore Public Library in Lacombe. The event features stories, crafts and fun for children of all ages.
Last week, École Lacombe Upper Elementary School (ELUES) also kicked off their family literacy project. The afternoon was filled with music, prizes and fun with dogs. Each student was gifted a copy of The Good Dog by Avi to read with their family, all to promote literacy.
Many libraries across the province are taking an interactive approach in encouraging residents to read, just for a mere 15 minutes. Through the Read for 15 Challenge a community will be awarded the title of Alberta’s most ‘readerly’ community for Family Literacy Day.
To participate residents were invited to read for 15 minutes and then log their participation through posting a photo, emailing the library or seeing the library in person. Each location has a unique way for participants to log their time. Libraries like the Rimbey Public Library and Red Deer Public Library are encouraging residents to take up the challenge so far.
The Read for 15 challenge was created in 1987 by the Northwest Territories Literacy Council.
So over this week, pick up a book and share in literacy with the community.
For more information and for family literacy activities, visit www.FamilyLiteracyDay.ca.