By Megan Watson (in collaboration with CTH Staff)
Family Literacy Day was Sunday, January 27 and Closer to Home showed our passion for literacy by handing out books that were donated to our agency by First Book Canada. The Closer to Home West Central Resource Centre (WCRC) has been very busy for the past few weeks, distributing about 500 books to children and families who participate in community programs such as the Shaganappi, Glenbrook and Bethany Chapel homework clubs, the Youth Centre at the Shaganappi library, the Family Café program and the Shaganappi Resource Fair. We are still handing out books at the WCRC office at 3507A – 37 Street SW to support literacy in our community.
Many of the families Closer to Home staff work with are unable to afford even everyday necessities, so books are not something they can usually afford to buy. When the children received the books they were overjoyed and extremely excited!
Literacy development is important for children as it is the foundation of all learning. When children are able to read, they are not only able to enter an imaginary world and discover far-away places, they are also able to build a knowledge base that will help them excel at school. Improved literacy leads to increased confidence, self-esteem, empowerment, job opportunities and knowledge. Increased literacy rates also lead to greater economic growth and reduced poverty, decreases in disease and infections, improved health and quality of life, as well as better communication and understanding.
There are many ways to improve literacy in our lives besides reading books. It can take only 15 minutes a day to improve literacy! Here are some simple ways to incorporate literacy into your life:
- Play a board game
- Read to yourself, someone else or even a pet
- Have someone else read to you
- Make new recipes and post them online
- Join a reading club
- Write a story and create a book
- Make a shopping list
- Read billboards and ads in the community