Family Literacy events highlight family's role in literacy

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A pair of events were hosted in Swift Current on January 28 in recognition of Family Literacy Day.

The Southwest Literacy Committee planned a pair of events around the local theme of “Journey Through Time” in recognition of the City of Swift Current’s centennial celebrations.

Bula Ghosh from the Southwest Literacy Committee assisted Swift Current City Council in proclaiming the week of Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, as Family Literacy Week in Swift Current.

"As we all know, the family has a profound influence on a child’s literacy, teaching a child his or her first language skills through activities like reading, listening, talking, singing, storytelling and drawing, are very valuable,” said Ghosh, literacy coordinator at the Great Plains College and member of the Southwest Literacy Committee. “On national Family Literacy Day, that is January 27, we need to remain mindful of the very powerful role families play in our children’s future successes.”

Swift Current's first recognition of Family Literacy Day will be hosted on Tuesday at the Swift Current, where four reading sessions will be held between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., with a quartet of special readers sharing with children. Deputy Mayor Ryan Plewis is reading at 9 a.m., followed by Tekeyla Friday at 10 a.m., Anthea Loran at 1 p.m., and Chris Harrow at 2 p.m.

Great Plains College will also host a family literacy evening for English language learners at Swift Current Campus that evening. English language learners at the college will be able to participate with their families in story time and fun-filled activities. Various other activities will take place at the Swift Current Library, Newcomer Welcome Centre, Family Resource Centre, and other locations.

"Studies have shown that children who are exposed to books at home early in life have a better chance at building strong reading and writing skills. Early exposure to literacy activities can help children develop interest in learning and lay the foundation for good personal health, economic prosperity and social well-being," Ghosh said during a presentation to Swift Current City Council.

Another of the Southwest Literacy Committee’s initiatives is a community family literacy project called Books for Babies first started in 2004. Through this decade long project, four-month-old babies in the Southwest receive a book bag containing two books, nursery rhymes, local library details and other information and assessment tools to assist child development.

The committee also distributed pre-literacy kits for children again in 2013. The pre-school kit contained activities to assist a young child with developing motor skills as they prepare for going to school.

Family Literacy Day began in 1999 as an initiative of ABC Canada.

Ghosh encouraged the public to show their commitment to family literacy by reading a book together or take part in a purposeful learning activity.

Organizations: Swift Current Library, Family Resource Centre, Southwest Literacy Committee

Geographic location: Swift Current

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