National Family Literacy Day observed at Mill Street library in Orangeville

January 31, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

It was National Family Literacy Day last Saturday, January 25, and the Mill Street branch of the Orangeville Public Library had a full line-up of activities for kids to enjoy while learning at the same time.

Entertainer Joseph Vetro performed in the morning. Mr. Vetro is an educator who uses music to engage children in various forms of learning. 

In the afternoon, therapy dogs were in the library and interacted with the kids.

Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999.

It is held annually to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Literacy goes beyond just learning how to read. It encompasses all forms of information related to the modern world.

“This day was created to create awareness of the importance of literacy – all kinds of literacy,” explained Shannon McGrady, the library’s Program and Research Co-ordinator. “That includes digital literacy, civic literacy, reading, all kinds of things. For example, learning computers and Ipads and all the new digital technology. That’s another form of literacy. 

“We have all kinds of tech toys out today to get the kids learning about that. What we are featuring today is tumble books. It’s animated picture books. If you have kids that really don’t want to read you can use this resource on a tablet or Ipad to listen to stories and it’s all animated. 

“Civic literacy is about voting and learning your role as a citizen. Here, we are focusing on reading, but there’s all kinds of literacy. The more we install these skills in children the better our community is a result of them learning. We had a children’s performer here this morning and he shared stories and songs and sang with the children. This afternoon have activities from art to math, science and tech.”

According to research, around 48 per cent of Canadians have literacy skills below the high school level. This reflects the wide range of skills need in a modern world.

Around 14 per cent have advanced skills. 

The library provided information on how you can increase your literacy skills by spending only 20 minutes per day practising different skills or even playing a game. 

“Our focus today is on stories and reading together as a family, and offering literacy activities you can do as a family,” Ms. McGrady explained. “The goal is take just 20 minutes out of every day to sit down with your children and learn together and be together. Reading is the first step to everything. You can’t do math if you can’t read. You can’t be on a computer if you can’t read. Reading is a foundational skill. All that is necessary before we can learn all of these other forms of literacy.” 

In a modern world, literacy has taken on an even broader meaning than just being able to read the morning newspaper or an old recipe for your grandmother’s secret cookie ingredients.

National Family Literacy Day hopes aims to improve general literacy in all areas and create a much more informed and educated public.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.