Literacy in the time of COVID-19


It’s hard to remember what 2020 was like before Coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the public’s conscious and infiltrated almost every aspect of our daily lives. As we obsessively clean our hands and diligently stay indoors with our family, it’s important to remember to maintain a structure and do activities that make you feel happy. Without having a daily routine in this indefinite self-isolation, you may develop feelings of loneliness, frustration, sadness, boredom and stress which can lead to much more challenging mental health struggles.

At FESA, we’ve taken a break from our regular programming due to the restrictions on gathering size and are learning to work differently. But we wanted to recommend some literacy-based activities that you can do with your family at home during this time.

  • To pass the long winter hours on the scientific bases in Antarctica, the researchers and support staff will host yearly screenings of classic films as well as host their own film festival. Your kids can write their own scripts or base it off of beloved books, and the whole family can get involved in staging the sets, acting and editing.

  • It may be a good time to do a bit of spring cleaning and organizing. A task that usually gets overlooked or put aside is organizing family photos. As everyone rifles through photos from sports tournaments, vacations, birthdays and more, it will be a good time to reconnect with one another and reminisce over shared memories.

  • Swap your favourite books with other family members. If your kids are younger, you can get them to read their favourite book to one another and ask them to tell each other what their favourite part was. You and your partner can swap your favourite novels and learn a little bit more about one another in the process.

Remember to check-in with one another and acknowledge that what you’re going through is challenging and important. While it’s important to do group activities and reconnect with your loved ones, it’s also key to schedule in alone time for yourself. Now’s the time you can finish the book sitting on your nightstand, teach yourself a new skill from YouTube videos or reignite some of your hobbies!

We've gathered links to some local free resources to help you and your family stay entertained:

  • Kanopy: Offered through the Calgary Public Library, this streaming service houses over 30,000 documentaries, classic movies, international films and learning videos. There’s also a section for kids movies and TV shows called ‘Kanopy Kids’.

  • Tumblebook Library: This database has lots of interactive, animated story books for young children as well as games and videos from National Geographic.

  • Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO): The CPO has uploaded full concerts and musical snippets to their YouTube channel over the years for viewers to listen to and enjoy for free. Now, you can sit in the comfort of your home and be surrounded by the sounds of Beethoven and Bach.

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