By Stan Ashbee
Westwind Weekly News
Family Literacy Day returns with the province-wide initiative “Read for 15.”
Libraries across Alberta, according to a recent media release, are reaching out to encourage citizens to read for 15 minutes on Jan. 25 to win the title of Alberta’s most “readerly” community. Raymond Public Library has joined the “Read for 15” challenge and the goal is to promote the importance of literacy in the community.
“Basically, we are encouraging everyone in our community to read anything for 15 minutes on the morning of Jan. 25. They then report it to the library by phoning us, e-mailing us or posting on our Facebook page,” said Faye Geddes, manager of the library.
Cardston, Geddes noted, won the provincial challenge last year. “We are hoping we can keep the trophy in southern Alberta.”
According to the media release, literacy skills are put into practice daily — reading grocery lists, Facebook newsfeeds and posts, local papers, a book, traffic signs, maps, or even a restaurant menu.
“Continuously flexing your reading muscles has been proven to reduce stress, expand vocabulary, improve memory, focus and concentration, and develop deep analytical thinking. It’s a rewarding recreational activity too,” it was stated in the media release.
Libraries aim to create enthusiasm about reading for youth and adults alike and libraries encourage friendly competition between communities, businesses, or public services to help spread the word about the challenge and the importance of reading, according to the media release.
“Participation is easy. After you finish your 15 minutes of reading your chosen material, let the library know using our Facebook page, e-mail, phone, or stop by the library and we’ll make sure your reading is added to the tally. You can follow participation and report your reading by using the hashtag #Readfor15Raymond,” it was stated.
Alberta’s most “readerly” community will be announced Jan. 30 once the results are calculated. Contact the Raymond Public Library at 403-752-4785 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was stated in the media release the “Read for 15” challenge originated in the Northwest Territories and has been promoting literacy since 1987. It was created by the NWT Literacy Council. Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually on Jan. 27 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.
Magrath’s public library will also be taking part in the “Read for 15” initiative. Let the library know using the Magrath Public Library Facebook page, e-mail email@example.com, phone 403-758-6498, or stop by the library to make sure your reading is added to the tally.
“You can follow participation and report your reading by using the hashtag #Readfor15Magrath,” it was stated in a recent media release.