Great Plains College, in partnership with the Southwest Literacy Committee, will celebrate Family Literacy Day on January 27. This year’s theme, “Learning in the Great Outdoors” encourages families to get outside and enjoy the many benefits of being in nature, for both mind and body.
Family Literacy Day began in 1999 through an initiative of ABC Canada. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to books at home early in life have a greater chance of acquiring good reading and writing skills.
“The family is a child’s first teacher and the profound influence that the family has on a child’s literacy is widely recognized,” said Bula Ghosh, English language training coordinator at Great Plains College. “Parents 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. We encourage parents to engage their children in fun learning activities, both indoors and outdoors, to provide learning in many ways, including exploring the world around them.
In celebration of Family Literacy Day, there are many activities planned across the province from January 23-29. On January 27 at 10:30 a.m., literacy hubs across the province will gather virtually to celebrate with a reading from the book “When the Tree Crackles with Cold” by Saskatchewan authors Bernice Johnson-Laxdal and Miriam Kὃrner. The public is invited to join in by tuning into the Saskatchewan Literacy Network’s YouTube channel.
Southwest Literacy Committee will also be holding a virtual reading session for Grade 3 students of Chinook School Division and Holy Trinity School Division. Author Anna Humphrey will read book two in “Megabat” series and students will also receive a copy of the first book in the “Megabat” series so they can read it with their families and take part in the suggested learning activities. The second book in the “Megabat” series will be available for students to borrow from Chinook Regional Library.
Partner agency, Family Resource Centre (FRC), will be incorporating different activities including book giveaways through their “Let’s Play” program, along with their other programming. FRC will also be holding a campaign throughout January called “Take-a-Book, Read-a-Book, and Leave-a–Book” in an effort to collect more books to get into the hands of children and families in need.
“Family literacy is about reading, writing, numeracy and more,” added Ghosh. “As important as the formal education system is, it is important to remember that literacy begins in our homes and within our families. Let 2022 be the year to show special appreciation of the environment and carry out responsible outdoor activities with our families in celebration of ‘Learning in the Great Outdoors’.”