The importance of learning to read and write will be highlighted around the country today with Family Literacy Day celebrations.
Several events have been planned locally to mark this special day; some were held on the weekend and others will take place today or later this week.
Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and is held annually on Jan. 27 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.
Each year, thousands of events coordinated by literacy providers, schools, libraries and community organizations take place across the country. These activities range from fundraisers, book drives and children's reading circles, to literacy-themed contests and family games nights. More than 1.5 million Canadians have already participated in the initiative since its debut.
It is a skill that many of us take for granted, from checking labels and prices while shopping at a grocery store, browsing event posters on bulletin boards or even reading road signs.
Setting aside just 15 minutes every day to read or do a learning activity not only helps children’s development but it also can assist parents to improve their literacy skills.
The provincial government has joined in the celebration this year by creating a new resource - Nova Scotia's Read to Me! program.
It celebrates family reading, and provides books and reading resources for every baby born in Nova Scotia. This month, in partnership with the Nova Scotia Provincial Library, a new resource for parents that lists the 50 best books for babies will launch.
According to ABC Life Literacy, research shows children have a better chance of becoming fully literate adults if reading is encouraged in the home.
Establishing a culture of learning in the home not only encourages an exchange of ideas, but enriches family relationships, and bolsters confidence and independent thinking.
Knowledge is power. When people are inspired to learn together it strengthens the entire community. Not all learning happens within the confines of school classrooms and it is the responsibility of parents to encourage reading at home but to foster a love of life-long learning through literacy.