This Jan. 27 marks the 20th anniversary of Family Literacy Day, which is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada. The annual event got its start in 1999 and was created to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities, as a family. Many local libraries, schools, and municipalities take part in the day with activities and events to celebrate the gift of reading with young and old.
Reading newspapers — including the Westwind Weekly News — is a great way to support the great literary arts. Picking up a magazine at a local merchant, or visiting a bookstore to select a new read, or stopping in at your public library to take out a few books — all awesome ways to take part in Family Literacy Day. But, these activities can be done all year long. Comic books and/or graphic novels, manga, Ripley’s and Guinness world record books — are also great material for youth to peruse at their leisure too.
It doesn’t matter what you read — just read, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day. Like physical exercise, working out your mental muscles is also very important. Take a few moments to read before bed, or while sipping a cup of coffee or tea, or when on the toilet (this is where a lot of reading gets done, it seems) — instead of turning on the TV or going online — open up a book or other literacy source. Reading is not a replacement — it is a positive behavioural change to try out or return to.
As a family, families can gather together around bedtime to read a story aloud. Or parents can take turns reading stories to young kids before bed or at any time throughout the day. When on a road trip couples can take turns reading to one another when the other is driving to pass the time — it’s like a live audiobook. Over breakfast or after dinner couples can read news stories aloud or share a paper to read instead of watching the news on TV or catching news headlines online. People read in a variety of places and at a variety of times and at their own pace. Reading is indeed personal, at times. Reading opens up the mind to a world of wonder and possibilities and gets the creative juices flowing.
To read or not to read? — the answer is always “To Read.” Flipping through the pages of a book or other literary source is a way to relax, perhaps learn, and a chance to possibly break free from the world in which we live. This month, maybe make the New Year’s resolution to start reading or to get back to it. Happy Family Literacy Day — celebrate with a great read!