If you’re a bookworm, you probably know that Family Literacy Day is just around the corner. Join your neighbours in celebrating this Saturday, January 26 at the Airdrie Public Library with literacy-related activities fun for the whole family. It’ll be a great opportunity to check out your local library and perhaps set your children up with their first library cards, allowing them to select and take home their very own books. If you’re not so familiar with the day, here’s how it started.
The first Family Literacy Day was held in 1999 and was created as a part of the national awareness campaign launched by ABC Life Literacy Canada. It was designed to celebrate reading and literacy-related activities with the whole family, in the hopes of cultivating a lifelong passion for reading. As a community event, it also allows families to meet others in the local area.
Family Literacy Day targets not only the literacy of children but of all family members. The skills of reading and writing are often undervalued in society and are rarely spoken about even though they play a central role in qualifying Canadians for employment. Being able to read and write well strengthens your ability to build relationships as well as communicate and understand others in the outside world. By reading to a child, you’re establishing the importance of literacy at a young age and are gently encouraging them to begin their lifelong journey of learning.
The great thing about literacy is that you are able to teach someone using any subject material you can think of. Your child may have completely different interests than yourself but through membership at the public library, you can seek out reading materials that interest both of you. Maybe you’re into futuristic sci-fi and non-fiction autobiographies but your child likes poetic short stories and historical dramas. No worries, the library has got you covered! Reading with your child allows them to gain the foundation for reading and comprehension while also allowing you to connect and understand their learning process.
When we take the time to read to our child or participate in literacy-related activities, we are aiding in their development. When it comes to adult literacy in Canada, you might be surprised by the statistics:
- 48 per cent of Canadians have literacy skills that fall below high school equivalency, affecting their ability to function in their personal and professional lives.
- The number of adult Canadians with low literacy skills has increased to 54.7 percent in the last decade. For these Canadians, their likelihood to be unemployed is higher than those with higher literacy skills.
- Parents’ reading habits play a central role in how often their kids read. 57 per cent of kids who are considered ‘frequent readers’ have parents who read books 5-7 days per week.
We hope to see you at Family Literacy Day in Airdrie this Saturday, January 26! Activities will be hosted between 10am-12pm at the Airdrie Public Library – all families are welcome!