Family Literacy Day—January 27th

This coming Friday is Family Literacy Day in Canada.

So what is Family Literacy Day all about? Well, it was created back in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada and is held every year on January 27 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. The idea is for parents to take an active role in helping to strengthen the reading and writing skills of all family members. It’s a great idea!  I’m not sure if there is any such program in other countries, but we hear plenty about it here in Canada.

In celebration of Family Literacy Day, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in Toronto comprised a list a few weeks back consisting of 25 picture books and 25 works of fiction that “share in the joys (and struggles) of families of all sizes and combinations.” What was particularly nice about this, for me, was that Bitter, Sweet was included in this list. Feels kind of good to be a part of this especially since we’re talking about a subject that is near and dear to every writer’s heart.. Here’s the link if you’re interested in checking out all the great Canadian books on the list.

I think what’s important for us to understand about literacy is that creating a home environment where reading and writing is a priority doesn’t necessarily take oodles of time. I’m told that even fifteen minutes a day, reading, writing, playing a game, following a recipe or even singing a song will help to strengthen your family’s literacy skills. I know many of us are busy, especially those of us who work full time. One thing I found that worked well, when I was really busy after a day’s work, was to have my kids read to me while I prepared supper or did other chores in the kitchen. It was lots of fun when they were first learning to read. Reading was always an important part of our day, and while I can’t imagine a day going by without reading something, I know this isn’t the case in all families. So anything that helps raise awareness for this worthy cause if okay by me.

So even if you don’t celebrate Family Literacy Day where you live, perhaps you can help do something wherever you are to bring awareness to the importance of reading and writing in our every day lives.

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  1. Congratulatons on Bitter, Sweet being included on this list! And well deserved I must say. The importance of reading to and with children cannot be underestimated. I worked full time while raising my two children and often worked long hours, but we always had reading time, usually just before bed. When they got old enough to read themselves, I would read a page and they would read a page. I got to revist my old favourites like Little Women, Black Beauty and Anne of Green Gables to name a few. As adults they tell me it was the most special time and they remember it fondly.

    • Well, thank you for pointing this out to me on Facebook, Darlene, and thank you for being such a wonderful support to not only me but pretty much every writer out there. :) I’m so pleased that all my kids love reading. Makes me feel that all that time we spent reading together paid off big time.

  2. Congratulations (again) on Bitter, Sweet making the list! Yay!

  3. Laura, that’s great news about Bitter, Sweet. I ditto Darlene and loved that when I introduced the classics to the kids, I got to enjoy them all over again. What is really great is that my son continues the tradition with his three. Don’t you wish EVERY day was Family Literacy Day?

    • That’s nice to know that when our kids grow up they are passing along their love of reading. I agree, every day should be Family Literacy Day, but choosing a specific date simply helps raise our awareness. :)

  4. Congratulations, Laura! Books are an important part of daily life at our house. We’re big library users, too. I have to give full marks to our local library system for all that they do to promote reading, and also to my son’s school librarians for making the school such a wonderful place to explore and learn.

    • Thanks, Heather. It’s nice having recognition, especially from the CCBC. :) Our libraries are so important. It’s something we need to keep in mind with so many struggling these days. It’s great to see libraries taking an active role in promoting reading.

  5. I wish I knew if the States had a literacy day! It’s such a great idea that can bring awareness to literacy while also pulling families together. I love it! :-)

  6. Here’s a link you can check out, C.B. which seems quite similar. Getting the word out about these programs is important.

  7. That’s a great list of books! Congratulations on having Bitter, Sweet included!

    I still read aloud with my son every night, and I love that he still wants that. (He’s 13.) So Family Literacy Day will find us reading together at bedtime, and maybe it’s the perfect day to pass to my older son the great YA book I just finished. :)

    • Thanks Shari! It’s always nice to be included in lists especially those comprised by the CCBC.

      I think it’s wonderful that you still read to your son. Some people never get tired of being read to. It’s a great way to spend time with our kids. :)

  8. I’m experiencing an overwhelming sense of pride knowing that I can actually tell my family that I know one of the authors on the list. Fabulous. This is so exciting, Laura. Bravo!

  9. Congrats on having Bitter Sweet included in this list of amazing books!

  10. I was subbing earlier this week, grade 3 immersion, and I read them a Robert Munsch book (en francais!), and despite being a fairly energetic group, they loved it and sat quietly for the whole story. I’m always happy to see signs that the computer hasn’t completely taken over the world (yet…)

  11. Ann Best

     /  January 25, 2012

    I’m SO happy to see your book on the list!

    Reading and Writing. Very important for everyone. It’s crucially important to help develop in children a love for both.

    • Thanks, Ann. I almost didn’t see it myself, but luckily a few facebook friends mentioned it in their status.

      Definitely something we can help along as parents. Granted that doesn’t insure that your kids will be avid readers but I hear so many adults say they just don’t read at all. I silently gasp, feeling sorrow for all they are missing.

  12. Congratulation, Laura. Not only is it an honour to be listed as an ideal book to read, but the recommendation should increase sales. I know sales aren’t the point here — reading is — but the more books you sell, the better.

    We’re definitely a reading house. There are books tucked into every corner. Each child has their own small book shelf in their room for their favouite books. I think it’s important for a child to have their own space to display their books. Not only will the books be easily accessed but every time the child walks into their room, they see books and think about reading.

    • Diane, it makes me so happy to hear each child has a book shelf in their room. I remember in our small farm house, my Dad made me a book shelf for my bedroom and it was so special. I used to think if there was ever a fire in our house, I would first open the window and through out all my books, before climbing out myself. That was how important books were to me as a child.

    • Thanks, Diane. In the beginning I stated that I didn’t want this whole experience to be about sales, and it hasn’t been. It has been about so much more.. That said, sales also means that more people are reading our words. Yes, we do want as many people as possible to read what we’ve written. If we didn’t we wouldn’t even bother having our stories published we’d simply write them and put them in a drawer.

      I agree that children should have their own place for books. What a great idea, Diane. :)


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