Family Literacy Day

Every year on January 27th, Canadians celebrate Family Literacy Day, the largest nationwide family literacy event in the country. The initiative, now in its 20th year, aims to raise awareness of the importance of reading together as a family. That’s because taking time each day to read or do other literacy activities is crucial to development, improving children’s literacy skills dramatically while also helping to foster a lifelong love of reading. 

Senior Kindergarten student Eva R-S reading with her grandparents. 

If you’re searching for ways to increase family reading time and help boost your daughter’s literacy skills at home, look no further. The following list provides proven tips that are sure to make reading fun for the whole family:

  • Start early: It’s never too early to read to your children. Even newborns benefit from being read to.
  • Model good behaviour: Children learn by example; therefore, the best way to encourage a lifelong love of reading is to be a reader yourself! 

  • Read widely: And that doesn’t just mean a wide variety of books. Encourage your child to practice reading street signs, television captions, shopping lists, and more.

  • Make time: Set aside time to read with your child every day -- even if it’s only for a few minutes. 

  • Ask questions: Asking questions while reading with your child helps to ensure comprehension.
    Some good options include: “What do you think is going to happen next?” or “Why do you think they did that?”

  • Go to the library: Going to the library as a family is a great way to expose your child to a multitude of books while also introducing them to an immersive reading environment. 

  • Read what you love: Kids will engage more with their reading when given the chance to read books they enjoy. 

  • Sing it out: Help your child build language by singing, rhyming and talking every day. 

  • Go above and beyond: When reading aloud, choose a book that’s above your child’s reading level. This will help boost their vocabulary and comprehension skills. 

  • Encourage writing: Have your child help with grocery lists and thank-you cards -- or get a penpal! This can be as easy as writing letters to a friend or cousin who lives out of town. 

  • Keep your teens engaged: Help foster a love of reading in older readers by finding books, articles and magazines that interest them. 

Elmwood student Kianna T. 

For more great tips, check out this resource from the Centre for Family Literacy.