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  Weekly Feature: (January 15, 2006)


Family Literacy Day (Jan. 27)
Trudi's Weekly Feature



Created in 1999, January 27th has become the national day in Canada to celebrate family literacy. The day promotes reading and learning together as a family.

Here are some family literacy facts:

·     Family Literacy refers to the many ways families develop and use literacy skills to accomplish day-to-day tasks and activities, such as writing a note to a child's teacher, sharing a bedtime story, making a shopping list or using a recipe.
(Family Literacy in Canada: Profiles of Effective Practices, 1998)

·     Simple things like reading and telling stories to a child at 18 months are powerful stimuli for brain development in the early years.
(The Early Years Study, 1998)

·     Reading to children more than once a day has a substantial positive impact on their future academic skills. In addition, research indicates children with early exposure to books and reading are better at performing mathematical tasks.
(National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, Statistics Canada, 1996-1997)

·     Children aged 2 to 3 who are read to several times a day do substantially better in kindergarten at the age of 4 and 5 than youngsters who are read to only a few times a week or less.
(National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, Statistics Canada, 1996-1997)

·     According to recent research, parents should pay careful attention to three potential reading slump times that can hinder a child's reading development: when a child enters kindergarten, at grade 4, and when a child enters high school.
(How to Make Your Child a Reader for Life, Paul Kropp, 2000)

·     Having a parent or other caring person to read aloud with helps children learn listening skills, vocabulary and language skills, as well as develop imagination and creativity.
(Family Literacy Foundation, 2001)

·     The time a parent spends reading aloud with his or her children will result in a higher level of attachment, a sense of security, and knowledge by children that their parent feels they are worthwhile people with whom to spend time.
(How to Raise a Reader, 1987)

·     Some experts say that for 80 per cent of children, simple immersion in reading and books will lead to real, independent reading by school age.
(How to Make Your Child a Reader for Life, Paul Kropp, 2000)

·     Eighty-eight per cent of children aged four to nine years old have a positive attitude about learning and look forward to school.
(The Progress of Canada's Children, Canadian Council on Social Development, 1996)

·     Young Canadians, aged 13 and 16, are reading and writing at levels generally expected by experts. However, in 1998, fewer 13-year-olds showed abilities at the very highest achievement levels than in a similar study conducted in 1994. Young women continued to score better than young men on tests of reading and writing abilities.
(The Progress of Canada's Children, Canadian Council on Social Development,1999-2000)

·     One in three Canadian youth, aged 16 to 25, have the highest level of literacy skills, second only to Swedish youth. However, Canada also has the third largest proportion of youth with poor literacy skills at 10 per cent.
(The Progress of Canada's Children, Canadian Council on Social Development, 1998)

For more information on literacy issues, please visit ABC Canada

In British Columbia, we celebrate with a family literacy week.  It will be from January 22nd  – 28th. There are many free activities around your community to help celebrate literacy. In Vancouver, at the public library, there are many great activities for your family.  On January 28th especially, there is a great workshop called “Write On” that will help with writing for children 5 – 12 with their parents.

All of the activities can be found in the Family Literacy document file (Adobe):


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