Family Literacy Day is a national initiative that takes place every year on Jan. 27 to encourage families to spend 15 minutes a day to read or practice a literacy activity together.
Schools, libraries, literacy groups and community centres across the country take part in this initiative every year by hosting literacy-related events to support the literacy cause.
But literacy actually starts in the home.
According to the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, children raised in literate households are likely to enter Grade 1 with several thousand hours of one-to-one pre-reading experience behind them.
This is why it’s especially important for parents to encourage literacy at an early age and to take time to show children that learning can be fun. Family Literacy Day offers the perfect opportunity for parents to do so.
“Family Literacy Day is a day where families can sit down and do a fun literacy-related activity, such as playing a game, and begin to build a habit of practicing literacy at home on a daily basis,” said Margaret Eaton, President of ABC Life Literacy Canada.
“Literacy affects all aspects of people’s lives, so when families practice literacy daily, both child and adult are better prepared to succeed in a world of increasing literacy challenges at home, at work and in the community.”
Parents can engage their children in literacy with these fun tips and activities:
o Follow a recipe together – it’s a fun way to practise reading, math and comprehension.
o Surf the Internet to discover fun and educational sites.
o Make everyday tasks learning experiences. Ask your children to write out a shopping list, address an envelope or help make a calendar of weekly activities.
o Let children count out the change when making a purchase. Reinforce the importance of math in everyday life.
o Introduce a family board game night where everyone is encouraged to read instructions, spell words and keep score.
The theme for Family Literacy Day 2011 is Play for Literacy, which can include all types of play that encourages literacy and numeracy development as well as comprehension skills, such as board games, card games and imaginative self-created activities and games. Games, and the carefree act of playing, provide a fun outlet in which individuals of all ages can engage in activities that inherently provide new learning or opportunities to improve one’s reading, writing, math and comprehension skills.
Families are encouraged to share how they plan to celebrate Family Literacy Day by registering their activity online at FamilyLiteracyDay.ca. By registering their activity, they will help support their province in the challenge to turn Canada orange on the Family Literacy Day interactive events tracking map.
The map represents events and activities happening in every province and territory. To register, visit FamilyLiteracyDay.ca.
For more information on Family Literacy Day, including literacy tips and activity ideas, please visit FamilyLiteracyDay.ca.