Family literacy beyond the home

It’s been said that parents are our first teachers, and our home is our first place of learning. But family literacy can – and should – extend beyond the home. Nurturing a love of learning doesn’t have to be done alone. There are a plethora of community resources to access – many for free – to help build a love of learning for you and your children. In honour of Family Literacy Day on January 27, 2024, we explore a few ways that parents can take their learning outside the home.

Local libraries

Libraries are not just warehouses of books, but thriving hubs of knowledge, learning and community engagement. A visit to your local library can be a magical experience for the entire family. In addition to exploring a vast collection of books, most libraries put on programming such as storytime sessions, sing-alongs and author readings. Libraries are 100% free and can usually be found in even the smallest communities.

Community literacy programs

Beyond the library, community literacy programs play a vital role in enhancing family literacy. These programs are often tailored to specific age groups and provide targeted support and resources. Here’s what they typically offer:

  • Early literacy programs: Designed for infants and toddlers, these programs focus on developing pre-reading skills. They may include activities like rhyming, singing, and reading to babies.
  • After-school programs: For school-age children, after-school literacy programs offer homework help and additional reading support. They often have certified educators who can provide one-on-one assistance.
  • Adult literacy classes: Community programs often cater to parents and adults who want to improve their own literacy skills. This is not only a great way to set an example for children but also an opportunity for self-improvement.

Family literacy initiatives

Family literacy initiatives are specifically designed to engage parents and children together, fostering a shared love of reading and writing and learning as a family. There may be workshops that provide interactive activities that parents and children can enjoy together. Additionally, many communities host family literacy events, which include book fairs, author visits and hands-on literacy activities. These events can be a source of inspiration and excitement for both parents and children.

To find a Family Literacy Day event in your community, and to download free resources, visit