Thursday, 18 January 2018 06:36

Southwest Literacy Committee, Great Plains College supports Family Literacy Day

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Swift Current Mayor Dennis Perrault (centre) proclaims Jan. 21-27 as Family Literacy Week at a regular council meeting, Jan. 15. Standing with him, from left, are Southwest Literacy Committee members Bula Ghosh and Andrea McCrimmon. Swift Current Mayor Dennis Perrault (centre) proclaims Jan. 21-27 as Family Literacy Week at a regular council meeting, Jan. 15. Standing with him, from left, are Southwest Literacy Committee members Bula Ghosh and Andrea McCrimmon. Matthew Liebenberg

Great Plains College, in partnership with Southwest Literacy Committee, will celebrate Family Literacy Day on Jan. 26.


Southwest Literacy Committee members Andrea McCrimmon and Bula Ghosh made a presentation about the importance of family literacy at a regular City of Swift Current council meeting, Jan. 15.

Mayor Denis Perrault proclaimed the week of Jan. 21-27 as Family Literacy Week in the city. Family Literacy Day activities will take place at the Swift Current Branch Library on Jan. 26.

Celebrity reader Teresa Cole will present a dramatic reading of the graphic novel “Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians” by Jarrett Krosoczka. These readings will take place at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. 12:15 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. The Art Gallery of Swift Current will also do a creative activity on the theme of graphic novels with participating children. For more information, contact the Swift Current Branch Library at 306-778-2752.
The theme for this year is “Libraries – The Path to Family Literacy,” in celebration of local libraries and the role they play in education, particularly for children.  
Family Literacy Day began in 1999 through an initiative of ABC Canada and studies have shown that children who are exposed to books at home early in life have a better chance of acquiring good reading and writing skills.
“Family literacy is about reading, writing, numeracy and more,” said Bula Ghosh, Great Plains College program coordinator. “As important as the formal education system is, it is important to remember that literacy begins in our homes and within our families. 
Children who begin life in a learning environment at home are more likely to succeed in school and in life. On Family Literacy Day, let us be mindful of this very powerful role of families in our children’s learning.”
Keeping with the theme, this year’s family literacy event will be held at Swift Current Library. The book that will be read by a celebrity reader, Teresa Cole, is Lunch Lady by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.
Following the event, family literacy evening will be held for English language learners and their families at Great Plains College. Partner  organizations, like Swift Current Library, Family Resource Centre and Newcomer Welcome Centre will also have different events to  celebrate the occasion and increase awareness of the integral role family 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. “Parents teach children their first language skills and much of a child’s physical, social and cognitive development takes place  in the home through activities like playing, reading, listening, talking, singing, storytelling and drawing.”
Southwest Literacy Committee also runs a community family literacy project called Books for Babies.
Through this initiative parents or caregivers of four-month-old babies in southwest Saskatchewan are given a book bag containing two books, nursery rhymes, local library details and other information and assessment tools to assist child development.
This project was started in 2004 and has been  an inspiration for similar projects in other Saskatchewan communities.
Southwest Literacy Committee also distributed pre-literacy kits for children again in 2017.
The pre-school kit has activities for children  nearing school age to help develop good motor skills. Chinook Regional Library carries out many different literacy programs for families  throughout the year.  
During Family Literacy Week, January 21 to 27, the college encourages parents to take their children to public libraries to read books, participate  in family literacy programs and activities and set the stage for an enjoyable experience.

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