Wednesday, 20 January 2016 14:50

GPC supports Family Literacy Day

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Family Literacy Day will be celebrated on Jan. 27 by Great Plains College officials in partnership with the Southwest Literacy Committee.

The theme for this year is  “Wag a Tail for Literacy.”  This theme ties in to the Swift Current Library’s Read to a Dog  program where children are encouraged to practise their reading skills with Talla, St. John’s Ambulance’s therapy dog.
Practising literacy 15 minutes a day is beneficial for both children and parents. Engaging children in playful activities can help them to learn while having fun.
This year’s theme encourages children to read to their family pet or to an animal. For children who have no pet, a stuffed animal would be a good alternative.
“Keeping with the theme, we hope that everybody will take a few minutes to reflect on what they learned while reading to their pet,” says Bula Ghosh, Southwest Literacy Committee member and literacy co-ordinator of Great Plains College in Swift Current. “It’s an enjoyable way to learn.”
A family literacy evening will be held for English Language Learners at Great Plains College on Jan. 28.
Partner organizations, including Swift Current Library, Family Resource Centre and Newcomer Welcome Centre will also hold events to celebrate the occasion and increase awareness of the integral role literacy plays in determining quality of life.
 “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 Ghosh. 
Another one of the Southwest Literacy Committee’s initiatives is a community family literacy project called Books for Babies. Through this project, parents or caregivers of four-month-old babies in southwest Saskatchewan are provided with a book bag containing two books, nursery rhymes, local library details, and other information and assessment tools to assist child development. The book bags are distributed through Cypress Health Region in recognition that literacy is a determinant of health. This project was started in 2004 and has been an inspiration for similar projects in communities across Saskatchewan.
Southwest Literacy Committee also distributed pre-literacy kits for children again in 2015. The pre-school kit had activities that focus on developing good motor skills. The kits were distributed through Swift Current Library. Chinook Regional Library also carries out different literacy programs for families throughout the year.

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