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.

Didn’t Even See it Coming —Sweet!

How about those things in life that just come right out of the blue?

I’ve always considered myself someone who worked hard to get what I wanted. Nothing wrong with that, I say. I was brought up to believe that hard work was a good thing. When it comes to writing I think I work as hard as the next writer and my hard work has paid off over the years. I’m thrilled with the publishing credits I have and believe me I worked hard to get each and every one of them…I’m not complaining here just stating facts.

But this came to me yesterday right out of the blue and I thought I’d share it. A few years back I wrote an article on wreath-making for a labour magazine. I happen to find non-fiction quite challenging to write. I’m totally out of my comfort zone, and yet where would any of us be if we didn’t take chances and try new things, right? I know what you’re probably thinking, blogging is non-fiction, but it’s still a bit different than putting together an article for a magazine.

So the article was published and I haven’t given it much thought since, until yesterday that is. I received an email from the original editor who published the article. Seems as though the good folks at The Nova Scotia Federation of Labour’s Literacy Program would like to reprint part of it for an upcoming anthology which will be used as a literacy tool.

—Sweet on a few different level here. I’m all for supporting literacy (I’m a writer for goodness sake.) And look at that I didn’t even have to work for this one. Scary, when things happen on their own like that, isn’t it? Scary in a good way, that is. Guess I’m just not used to that so much. But I’ll take it with much gratitude.

I also want to mention that Christi Craig, a most excellent blogger, from the US won the contest over at Lynn A. Davidson’s blog and will receive a copy of my book very soon. If you’ve never checked out Christi’s blog you should pop over and say, hi! Here’s the link.

That’s it for today. I wonder what goodies tomorrow will bring?

Do you have any good news you’d like to share? Doesn’t have to be writing related just whatever’s on your mind.

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