Whether you cosy up with your children read a bedtime tale or listen to your child tell a thrilling story of how they became a dragon fighter in their dream last night, you are pursuing literacy as a family.
This is what Jan. 27, family literacy day, is all about. ABC Life Literacy Canada started the day 19 years ago to keep reminding Canadians of the importance of reading and doing other literacy-related activities together.
“Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development, improving a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well,” ABC stated.
Starting Saturday, Hope will come alive with literacy events for families.
At the Hope Library, backpacks are stuffed with books, games and puzzles around themes such as colours, animals, a new baby in the house and more. Children can take them home and open up a world of literary fun.
The library also has a draw for three books, each for different ages; anyone can enter to win before Jan. 31.
Jodi McBride, executive director at the Read Right Society, is planning book swaps at Hope’s elementary schools. These events, she said, usually end up in a literal frenzy.
Coquihalla Elementary already held their swap Tuesday and Silver Creek Elementary is holding theirs Friday at noon.
Students bring gently used books from home and trade for one or several new books donated by First Book Canada. No one goes home empty-handed, even if they weren’t able to bring a book with them.
Residents can pop in to the free book library in the Read Right Society at 895 3 Ave. anytime of the year to choose from books for children, young adults and adults.
Hope Family Place is spending the week immersed in this year’s theme, “What’s on my plate?”. On Wednesday morning, Jan. 31, community members are invited to Family Place at 434 Wallace St. for activities around healthy eating.
Prizes are also up for grabs for families who post photos revolving around food and healthy eating on social media.
“I’d just really encourage parents to get involved, regardless what their own literacy ability is,” McBride said of family literacy day. She added parent involvement is the key factor in childrens’ ability to learn, regardless of income level.
Family Literacy Tips
with Jodi McBride, Read Right Society
- It’s never too early to start. Even reading to your child before they are born can have positive effects, as they hear the rhythm and cadence of speech.
- Engage with your child. Instead of only reading to them, point to photos, ask questions and get them to read to you.
- Have books accessible to your children even when you cannot be there to read with them. Put books in children’s rooms and on lower level shelves where they can reach them.
- Create a reading ‘nook’, a cozy space where they can go to read. You can add fun pillows, snacks and their favourite teddy bears.
- Tell stories and encourage your children to tell you theirs. The more words spoken in the home, the more it helps a child’s language develop.
- Regardless of your own reading ability, make literacy something you do with your child every day.