People head outdoors, online to celebrate Family Literacy Week

January 23, 2022 at 9:04 am  BC, News, Politics

Families throughout the province are encouraged to recognize this year’s Family Literacy Week by reading books, playing games, attending online and outdoor events, and connecting with loved ones virtually.

“Many people in B.C. struggle with literacy, and as part of our ongoing effort to build awareness about the importance of developing literacy skills, our government has proclaimed Family Literacy Week from Jan. 23-30 this year,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “This week is an opportunity for families to come together, connect to the joy of literacy and celebrate the benefits of reading with others in their community.”

Each year, Family Literacy Week focuses on a theme that communities throughout the province can build events and gatherings around. The theme this year is “Let’s Connect! Care, Play, Listen.”

“We cannot underestimate the importance of reading for children – it benefits a child’s education, social and cognitive development, well-being and mental health,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “This Family Literacy Week, and every day, I encourage B.C. families to join together to read, sing, talk and play games to help our youngest learners grow and thrive.”

This year, the Province provided more than $2 million in support of community literacy to Decoda Literacy Solutions, a non-profit organization that uses this funding to support the co-ordination of community literacy services and initiatives in B.C. Each year, government also contributes $500,000 to the Vancouver Sun’s annual Raise-a-Reader campaign and programs.

“Children learn about their world when they explore and play. Connecting with others, places and ideas supports their social, emotional and physical health,” said Margaret Sutherland, executive director, Decoda Literacy Solutions. “Telling family stories, enjoying the outdoors, playing games, singing songs and reading with children all strengthen connections and create great memories.”

Examples of Family Literacy Week events happening in B.C. communities:

  • Decoda Literacy Solutions is hosting a photo contest that everyone can participate in. Participants are encouraged to take a photo using a “Let’s Connect! Care, Play, Listen” theme and post on social media or submit by email to contest@decoda.ca. There will be a class prize and a prize for individuals.
  • Families in Kitimat, Vernon and on the Sunshine Coast are hosting story walks where families and individuals can walk through their local communities reading along to stories.
  • Families in Powell River are invited to add colour and design to a local artist-designed six-metre (20-foot) mural with an eco-literacy theme.

Quick Facts:

  • Family Literacy Day is the largest national family literacy initiative in Canada, created in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada.
  • The Province has proclaimed Jan. 27 as Family Literacy Day for the past 22 years. This is the sixth year the Province has extended the celebration from one day to a week.

Learn More:

Decoda Literacy Solutions: www.decoda.ca

A list of Family Literacy Week events happening throughout the province, including “Let’s Connect! Care, Play, Listen” tip sheets, backgrounder and social media resources: https://decoda.ca/get-involved/family-literacy-week/  

Decoda’s Family Literacy Week Photo Contest: https://decoda.ca/wp-content/uploads/FLW2022_Contest_Poster_compressed-2022-01-10-23_36_59.pdf

Read the proclamation here: https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/FamilyLiteracyWk2022

Find your public library: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/sports-culture/arts-culture/public-libraries/find-your-public

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