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Families can bond on national literacy day: READ Saskatoon

National awareness day can increase early childhood literacy while strengthening families, according to READ Saskatoon.
National awareness day can increase early childhood literacy while strengthening families, according to READ Saskatoon. File / Global News

SASKATOON – Tuesday was the 16th annual family literacy awareness day. It’s intended to increase early childhood literacy in homes across Canada.

Jan. 27 highlights the importance of engaging in literacy activities as a family and READ Saskatoon has been on board since day one.

“Family literacy day 2015 has been the most exciting, creative, most involved way for schools and families to actually celebrate the life-long learning,” said READ Saskatoon executive director Sheryl Harrow-Yurach.

“I think today more than ever, reading, writing and numeracy are being realized as the fundamental pieces of opportunity for families and for children’s growth, so focusing on that through family literacy activities has just exploded as a fun way for families to learn and grow together.”

When most people think of literacy, reading and writing come to mind. However, literacy includes being able to interpret and understand language, numbers and symbols in everyday life.

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According to READ Saskatoon, learning activities are crucial to a child’s development, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day. These activities also build parent’s skills up and help families bond.

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“The chance for parents and their children or grandparents and their grandchildren or aunts and uncles and their nieces and nephews or teachers to connect in a different way- family literacy provides that opportunity,” said Harrow-Yurach.

“It provides a way to talk about learning in a fun creative way but always it’s about learning and how can we continue to ensure that families in our communities learn and grow together.”

Raising awareness for the development of basic socialization and communication skills is also important.

READ Saskatoon has been delivering family literacy programs throughout the year and was out in the community helping families on Tuesday.

A “Family Learning Olympics” event was held at Hugh Cairns V.C. School. Students won a contest by showing the organization why family literacy is important to their school.

Literacy activities do not have to be limited to just reading. Families can help their kids develop skills in many different ways.

Here are some activities to teach children:

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  • Word games
  • Make up plays and act them out as a family
  • Plan a trip and follow the route on a map
  • Sing the ABCs or 123s
  • Teach nursery rhymes
  • Write songs and sing
  • Making grocery lists
  • Follow recipes while cooking
  • Write a letter to a family member
  • Talk to your babies
  • Ask children questions

ABC Life Literacy Canada started family literacy awareness day in 1999.