Crack open your favourite book because January 27th is Family Literacy Day! Whether you have been reading a lot due to local restrictions or are just starting up again, today is a good time to reflect on your reading journey. To celebrate this year we’ve gathered together some enriching resources and have a special gift from FESA Facilitator and Trainer, Shawna Linklater.
History of Family Literacy Day:
Family Literacy Day takes place every January 27th to raise awareness about the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. Since 1999, thousands of schools, libraries, literacy organizations, and other community groups have taken part in the initiative. Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development, improving a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.
Storytime with Shawna Linklater:
FESA Facilitator, Shawna Linklater has plenty of experience reading; she loved reading to her son when he was young and is thrilled to help others improve their literacy skills to this day. Shawna joins us today with a reading one of her favourite children’s book, Love You Forever. A book that needs no introduction, but here’s one anyways: published in 1981, Love You Forever, written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw tells the story of the evolving relationship between a mother and her son.
What it's like when your brain reads:
Want to see what happens to your brain when you read? Check out this enlightening video from brainfacts.org on how the human brain processes letters and words, which can help you understand the challenges your child faces when trying to sound out those words.
5 Free Literacy Resources
National Geographic Kids and National Geographic (All ages)
National Geographic is well-known for its coverage of the natural world and various scientific fields, but did you know that they have entire website dedicated to kids? National Geographic Kids features games, videos, and facts about different animals and places around the world. Users can even make a free account to gain badges as they explore content on the website.
UN Free Rice (Ages 7+)
UN Free Rice is a vocabulary-based interactive game where users can donate 5 grains of rice to families in need with each correct answer they give. This will help children work on their vocabulary kids and will teach them about the importance of helping others who are in need.
Teaching Kids News (Ages 6 to 14)
The creators of Teaching Kids News wanted to create a balanced approach to literacy by writing timely news articles for elementary and intermediate level students. Each article has writing/discussion prompts, grammar features, and a reading prompt so that students can further connect with what they've read. In the past year, it's become increasingly apparent how important it is to understand what is happening in the news, so this is a great place to start with your children to teach them these skills.
Oxford OWL (Ages 3 to 11)
Oxford OWL is a free resource that has free learning tools to help kids with reading, language arts, and mathematics. They have lots of activities, interactive games, and even an entire online library of eBooks.
PBS Learning Media (Ages 3 to 6)
PBS has created a ton of videos on early preschool and elementary literacy skills based on the program "Between the Lions" and the series "Get Wild About Reading!" These videos cover everything from vocabulary and text comprehension to phonics and fluency.