Family Literacy Day aims to bring awareness for early childhood learning
About 60 people attended Family Literacy Day, held at the Airdrie Public Library on Jan. 25.
Several activities were scheduled, including a videoconference with the facilitator at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California during which Airdrie children were able to speak and ask questions.
“I got to ask how many (shark) species are at their aquarium and I learned about different species and all the names,” said Liam Doyle, 10, who participated in the conference.
He is a self-proclaimed fan of sharks and said he really liked the experience. He said videoconferences are a good way to learn new things.
“It’s not just reading,” said Janine Jevne, library director of what literacy entails. “It’s much more complex and involves playing, talking, reading, singing and writing.”
She said literacy day, which was celebrated nationally on Jan. 27, allows parents to become more aware of the importance of involving these five activities into their children’s daily life.
“If parents are aware and spend time (with this) their children’s communication skills will increase and they will have more success in school and in life, really,” she said.
Family Literacy Day is an annual event started in 1999. ABC Life Literacy Canada started the initiative, held annually in January, to raise awareness for the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.
During the morning on Jan. 25, preschool literacy was the focus.
Five stations were set up, focusing on the five key areas of literacy, and parents and toddlers were able to go to each one and engage in the activities.
“Preschool literacy is the No. 1 priority determined by community needs assessment,” said Jevne.
The library conducted the assessment a couple of years ago in order to determine the top priorities for the library for the period between 2011 and 2014.
Twenty-two people from the community took part in the assessment.
The first priority is to create and support opportunities to develop and maintain early and childhood literacy; the second is to offer public Internet access; the third understand how to find, evaluate and use information and lastly, providing physical and virtual space.
She said that incorporating play, talk, singing, reading and writing doesn’t have to be complex or expensive and can be as simple as reading together or sharing a song.
“These simple thing are huge to our children’s success.”