White Rock Public Library (File photo)

White Rock Public Library (File photo)

Surrey, White Rock literacy leaders kick off Family Literacy Week

Literacy events to take place Jan. 24 to 31

Literacy leaders in South Surrey and White Rock are encouraging families to get active for Family Literacy Week.

This year’s theme of the provincially proclaimed week, which runs from Jan. 24-31, is “Let’s Be Active.” As part of the week, the province is encouraging families to “read their favourite book, head outside for some fresh air, play their favourite games and connect with family virtually while growing their literacy skills.”

“Children’s literacy skills expand and grow much faster when families read, play and learn together,” Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside said in a news release. “Family Literacy Week is a great opportunity to focus on dynamic ways to support our youngest learners so they can develop the skills they need to succeed in their school years and beyond.”

Locally, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society created and delivered “activity kits” to daycare children in the region earlier this month. The kits include activity books, stickers, and art supplies so all children, whether or not they had access to virtual programs, could participate equally.

“After a week of using the kits, the children and parents are now more engaged in the class. When they complete their activity and show it on the scene you can see how proud they feel,” said Stephen Boyd, DIVERSEcity’s manager of language programs. “This has definitely been a highlight for all of us during this very difficult time.”

Online and public literacy week events can be found through White Rock Public Library and all branches across the Fraser Valley Library system.

SEE ALSO: Local author marks National Literacy Day

“Organizations in Surrey and White Rock are marking Family Literacy Week in different ways,” said Shanti Ang, literacy co-ordinator with READ Surrey/White Rock Society.

Activities include a guide to create a family tree (online registered event), take part in virtual activities, or drop by the White Rock Library to enter a draw to win a book.

Visit www.fvrl.bc.ca or contact White Rock Library at 604-541-2201 for details.

In addition, Decoda Literacy Solutions, BC’s provincial literacy organization, is to run a provincewide online photo contest to encourage families to be active together. Decoda also offers free Family Literacy Week activity sheets to download for families and community programs at decoda.ca

“Families have learned to adjust to doing things differently under COVID-19, spending more time together and embracing creativity while learning,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Family Literacy Week is a wonderful time to connect with children, have fun together and read inspiring stories, and these activities help to build a solid foundation in literacy and lifelong learning.”

This year, the government provided more than $2 million in support of community literacy to Decoda Literacy Solutions. Decoda uses the funding to support the co-ordinate of community literacy services and initiatives throughout the province.

The province also contributes $500,000 to Postmedia’s Raise-a-Reader campaign and programs each year.

“Active play is essential for children’s development,” said Margaret Sutherland in a news release, executive director, Decoda Literacy Solutions. “It builds strength in so many areas – physical, social, emotional, language and thinking. Children learn by watching, so join in the fun!”

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