Tuesday, 22 January 2013 15:41

Family Literacy Day in Swift Current is a go Jan. 25

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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The SunDogs were at the Swift Current Mall last year reading to a group of youngsters at the Swift Current Mall. The SunDogs were at the Swift Current Mall last year reading to a group of youngsters at the Swift Current Mall.

 is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2013, and the Southwest Literacy Committee has teamed up with the Family Resource Centre to offer 15 Minutes of Fun events in honor of this milestone.

“This is a new theme this year, but we will be doing both a daytime event at the mall and then an evening event like we usually do,” explained Jenise Tisdale with the Southwest Literacy Committee. “That way, we can offer something even for families that work and can't make it a daytime event.”
Families can attend a Family Literacy Day Celebration at the Swift Current Mall on Jan. 25, which will feature story sessions from 9:30 a.m. until 3 pm. Family Fun Night will take place on Jan. 30, offering a chance for families to participate in a variety of fun activities including crafts, storytime, puzzles, snacks, and prizes.
“We partner with the schools for our celebration at the mall, which ensures that we always get a good audience, but the evening events are really kind of hit or miss for us,” admitted Tisdale. “We are really hoping to build on the Family Resource Centre's history of having great, successful events and carry that over to this one, as well.”
She added that it's a great opportunity for families to get out of the house and play together, because that is when a lot of family learning happens. At home, it's easy to be distracted by other things that need to be done, and playtime can be less of a priority. Events like this allow families to engage and have fun with their children the entire time they are there.
“Parents are a child's first teacher, they model themselves after you,” Tisdale explained. “If you are learning, they will want to learn. If you have a love of learning, they will share that love of learning.”
This is especially important for parents of preschool aged children, since those years are so crucial in the development of the child. Family literacy is a great way to ensure that your child has all the basic skills they need before they reach the formal education system.
“A lot of that is informal learning that can happen just from interacting with Mom and Dad and other family members,” said Tisdale. “It's about getting along, doing things as a team, and that spreads out into all other aspects of life. Family literacy really is the fundamentals of life and learning.”
The Southwest Literacy Committee and Family Resource Centre offer a number of family literacy activities and events throughout the year, and see a lot of families who come out on a regular basis. Tisdale is hoping to increase those numbers this year.
“These families are seeing the value in participating in events like this,” she said. “Hopefully, the more people we get out, the more people will realize that it really is all about fun. The learning is there, but it's all just part of the fun.”

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