Families, libraries and literacy groups to celebrate Family Literacy Day virtually

Despite physical distancing rules still in place across the country, many groups are getting creative in order to take part in the annual Family Literacy Day virtually on January 27th.

Created in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada, Family Literacy Day is now in its 22nd year and aims to encourage reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. Each year, groups across the country take part by hosting events that include fun-filled learning activities. This year, most of the events will be done virtually.

“We want to give kudos to all of the groups who are committed to celebrating Family Literacy Day once again, despite the challenges of hosting physical events,” says ABC Life Literacy Canada Executive Director Mack Rogers. “Literacy and learning as a family should always be made a priority. Spending time together daily as a family to read, play board games, or prepare meals together can help increase the literacy skills of both children and adults.”

This year’s theme is “Travel the world together”, which encourages families to use their imagination to explore the world. This can be done through activities such as planning a dream vacation, learning about another culture, or following a recipe of an international dish.

Award-winning Canadian author and modeling clay illustrator Barbara Reid is once again acting as Honourary Chair of Family Literacy Day. Reid will be hosting a virtual event for families across the country that will include a demonstration on how to use clay to create a picture. 

“I am very excited to partner once again with ABC Life Literacy to spread the word about the importance of family literacy,” says Reid. “You don’t need to get on a plane to go explore something new and exciting. You can learn and discover amazing things in your own backyard. This year’s theme is a great way for families to learn something new together from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”

For those who want to take part in Family Literacy Day, simply visit FamilyLiteracyDay.ca to access free learning activities and materials, or to find a local event. Here are a few of the events taking place across the country:

  • NWT Literacy Council in Yellowknife, NWT is running an online challenge where families are encouraged to do any activity from Barbara Reid’s Family Literacy Day tip sheet and submit a photo to be entered into a prize draw.
  • Centre for Family Literacy in Edmonton, AB is hosting a Family Literacy Carnival. For four straight days starting on January 27th, they’ll share an activity on YouTube, with the carnival going live on Zoom on the 5th
  • Okotoks Public Library in Okotoks, AB is hosting a virtual ‘Race Around the World’. Families will use Google Earth to collect navigation points from the world’s most interesting, exciting and mysterious landmarks.
  • Read Saskatoon in Saskatoon, SK is encouraging families to visit any Wheatland Regional or Saskatoon Public Library brand to pick up a postcard. The first 100 families to mail in the completed postcard will receive a new book!
  • Border Regional Library in Virden, MB is offering a virtual Village Storytime & Activities package through their website and social media platforms. The package holds seven days worth of activities for families.
  • South Mountain Planning Team in Hamilton, ON are asking South Mountain Hamilton residents to submit or recommend a book title to other readers via social media or email. A draw will take place on January 27th and winners of the contest will be given book bundles.
  • Early Childhood Family Resource Centre of Westmorland Albert in Dieppe, NB is hosting an information session on selecting age-appropriate books for babies. The session will be facilitated by a speech language pathologist who will also talk to parents about how to start building your baby’s literacy skills.
  • New Glasgow Public Library in New Glasgow, NS is giving away free children’s books from Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program. Contact them for details.

For more information about Family Literacy Day, to access free resources or to find an event in your community, visit FamilyLiteracyDay.ca.