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. This year’s theme, “Celebrate your Heritage” encourages families to explore their heritage and share their culture with others.
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. It is also in the home environment that a child experiences and learns about their heritage. We encourage parents to engage their children in fun learning activities at an early age to set the stage for reading books and a life-long love for learning.”
In celebration of 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 January 27 at 10:00 a.m. and the featured book is “Li’ll Shadd: A story of Ujima” by authors Miriam Korner and Alix Lwanga. The book will provide a glimpse into the Afro-Canadian cultural heritage in Saskatchewan. After the reading, participants will have a chance to ask questions to the authors. The public is invited to join in by tuning into the Saskatchewan Literacy Network’s YouTube channel. Pre-registration is encouraged at saskliteracy.ca/shadd/.
Grade 3 students from Chinook School Division and All Saints School will also take part in a virtual reading of the book “Alina in a Pinch” by Shenaaz Navji on January 26.
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 for pre-school age children to help develop strong motor skills.
“Family literacy is about reading, writing, numeracy, and more. As important as the formal education system is, it is important to remember that literacy and learning about culture begins in our homes and within our families. Children who begin life in a learning environment at home are more likely to succeed in school and in life,” added Ghosh. “In the spirit of this year’s theme, ‘Celebrate your Heritage’, we encourage families to take time to learn about and share their language, culture, music and tradition, while also learning about the many cultures and heritages that exist in their communities.”