Great Plains College, in partnership with the Southwest Literacy Committee, will celebrate Family Literacy Day on January 27. A week-long celebration with different activities has been planned from January 22 to 28, 2024. This year’s theme, “Let’s Have a Family Party” celebrates 25 years of Family Literacy Day and learning together.
Family Literacy Day began in 1999 through an initiative of ABC Canada to raise awareness about the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to books at home early in life have a better chance of acquiring good reading and writing skills.
“Parents and caregivers teach children their first language skills and much of a child’s physical, social and cognitive development takes place in the family through activities like playing, reading, listening, talking, singing, storytelling and drawing,” said Bula Ghosh, English language training coordinator at Great Plains College. “We encourage parents to engage their children in fun learning activities at an early age to set the stage for reading books and life-long learning.”
To celebrate Family Literacy Day the Saskatchewan Literacy Network (SLN) has again organized literacy hubs to participate in a virtual book reading throughout the province. This year’s event will take place Friday, January 26 at 10:30 a.m. and the featured book is “Welcome to the Cypher” by Khodi Dill. After the reading, participants will have a chance to ask questions to the author. The reading is open to the public and will be streamed through the Saskatchewan’ Literacy Network’s YouTube channel, registration is required at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FLD-Cypher.
Grade 3 students in southwest Saskatchewan will also take part in an interactive virtual reading of the book “Awesome Orange Birthday” by Mitali Banerjee on January 25.
Southwest Literacy Committee also leads a number of other literacy projects throughout the year, including Books for Babies, where parents and caregivers of four-month-old babies receive a tote bag of books and assessment tools to assist in child development. Pre-School kits and Early Learning kits are also assembled through Chinook Regional Library and Early Years Mobile Play Program for pre-school age children to help develop strong motor skills.
“As important as the formal education system is, it is important to also remember that literacy begins in our homes and within our families,” added Ghosh. “Children who begin life in a learning environment are more likely to succeed. In celebration of this year’s theme, ‘Let’s Have a Family Party’, we encourage families to treat home like a learning lab to create all kinds of fun learning experiences to engage children in reading, writing numeracy and more.”