Branches celebrate Family Literacy Day Jan. 27

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

Family Literacy Day takes place every January 27th to raise awareness about the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

]This year, the County of Prince Edward Public Library & Archives are joining forces with Prince Edward Learning Centre and County Kids Read to celebrate the vital role of literacy.

“When we think of Family Literacy we often first think of children,” explains Jennifer Hunter, Program Coordinator at Prince Edward Learning Centre. “but Family Literacy Day is really about families of all descriptions thinking of ways to add literacy in their days. Adults can play board games, try a crossword or get outside in nature.”

On January 26, between 2-5 p.m., drop by the Picton Branch Library where the Learning Centre & County Kids Read will be set up with activities, free books and stories read by the library’s children’s librarian Michele Gardner. ABC Life Literacy Canada, the national body that organizes Family Literacy Day, says that “Parents’ reading habits play a large role in determining how often kids read: 57 per cent of kids who are frequent readers have parents who read books 5–7 days per week, compared to only 15 per cent of kids who are infrequent readers (Kids and Family Reading Report)”.

Dropping by the library as a family is a great way to get everyone reading! “Children and their grown-ups who register in the library’s Impressive Reader Society or 1000 Books before Kindergarten programs tell us all the time that tracking how much they read encourages them to pick up even just one extra book a week,” explains Michele, “ and at the library we’re happy to keep everyone stocked with reading material!” County Kids Read distributes free books to children and youth in the County.

As Anne Preston explains, “County Kids Read works with more than a dozen community partners, which serve the needs of low-income families and at-risk children to layer literacy into their existing programs, making literacy a priority.” Krista Richardson of the Wellington Branch Library has arranged for Wellington Dukes players to visit the public library to read to school classes from CML Snider. “It’s great for kids to see that sports and reading are both exciting and important, and that their hockey heroes like to read too!”, she said.

-Liz Zylstra