WELLINGTON COUNTY – Wellington County libraries will be celebrating Family Literacy Day virtually this year and they invite families to take part on Jan. 27.
Family Literacy Day started in 1999 as a day to highlight the importance of reading and writing.
Since then, thousands of schools, libraries and other community groups across Canada have participated.
“Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to their development,” reads a press release from the Wellington County library service.
“It can improve a child’s literacy skills dramatically and can help a parent improve their skills as well.”
Local library branches have Take-and-Make and Story Time kits available to pick up.
The Aboyne branch is holding a special virtual Story Time on Jan. 27 and 10:30am. Register in advance by calling 519-846-0918.
ABC Life Literacy Canada has a webpage devoted to activities for families. Visit https://abclifeliteracy.ca/all-programs/family-literacy-day/ to download activities, kits, bookmarks, posters and other resources.
This year’s theme is “Travel the world together,” which encourages families to use their imagination to explore the world. This can be done through activities such as planning a dream vacation, learning about another culture, or following a recipe of an international dish.
Family Literacy Day honorary chair and author/illustrator Barbara Reid is also holding a special online event on Jan. 27 from 4:30 to 5pm.
She will offer a demonstration on how to use clay to create a picture, share some unique techniques, followed by a Q&A. Her session is suited to children in grades 1 to 6. Registration is required and spaces are limited.
“I am very excited to partner once again with ABC Life Literacy to spread the word about the importance of family literacy,” says Reid.
“You don’t need to get on a plane to go explore something new and exciting. You can learn and discover amazing things in your own backyard. This year’s theme is a great way for families to learn something new together from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”
ABC Life Literacy Canada offers the following family literacy statistics on its website:
- children spend five times as much time outside the classroom as they do in school, so parents and caregivers need the tools to support their learning (The Read-Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease, 2006);
- children whose parents are involved with them in family literacy activities score 10 points higher on standardized reading tests (The Effect of Family Literacy Interventions on Children’s Acquisition of Reading: From Kindergarten to Grade 3, Conducted by Monique Sénéchal for the National Center for Family Literacy, 2006) ;
- one year of parental education has a bigger positive impact on whether a son or daughter will attend a postsecondary institution than an extra $50,000 in parental income (Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, 2011);
- a mother’s reading skill is the greatest factor to affect her children’s future academic success, outweighing other factors, like neighborhood and family income (National Institute of Health, 2010);
- parents’ reading habits play a large role in determining how often kids read: 57% of kids who are frequent readers have parents who read books five to seven days per week, compared to only 15% of kids who are infrequent readers (Kids and Family Reading Report – Scholastic, 2017);
- children of low-literate parents are exposed to 30,000,000 fewer words and enter kindergarten with a much larger skills gap than their peers (The Case for Investment in Adult Basic Education, Kevin Morgan, Dr. Peter Waite, Michele Diecuch, March 2017); and
- almost 40% of Canadian youth do not have suitable literacy skills (TD Canada Trust, Literacy Matters: A Call to Action).