Sunday, 27 January 2013

Happy Family Literacy Day!

January 27th is Family Literacy Day in Canada. It’s a day meant to encourage families to learn together. ABC Life Literacy Canada is the organization responsible for promoting the event and their mission statement is this:

We envision a Canada where everyone has the literacy skills they need to live a fully engaged life.

Sounds like a worthy goal to me!

The theme for this year is “Fifteen Minutes of Fun.” Families are encouraged to spend at least fifteen minutes a day on reading skills, whether it’s through books, games, songs, poetry, riddles, or anything else that puts an emphasis on learning language.  Our family is already very committed to learning together, and our life pretty much revolves around books, books, and more books, so for us this is a cinch.

In the spirit of the day, we read another chapter of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. My son is currently doing a novel study on it and we’ve had some great discussions on the subject matter. In my family, milestones are marked by books, and I’ve been waiting for this one for a long while now.

And what would a celebration of literacy be without some Shel Silverstein to liven things up a bit? We’ve long been fans of Shel’s zany poetry, and this is the fourth of his books we’ve read. His poems range from incredibly clever to just plain goofy, and when we start to read a few, we can never stop. We always say, “Okay, just one more,” until the book is accidentally finished.

We also played Boggle and a Scrabble card game. I love word games, so this was a fun way to cap off our literacy activities. Oh, and there were pizza Pringles and licorice. Those have nothing to do with language, but there must be snacks for any celebration, no matter how small.

I'd actually forgotten until this afternoon that it was Family Literacy Day, so there wasn't time to get overly creative. Next year I’d like to put more prep into this special day and come up with some better ideas for how to spend it. Something a little more along the lines of one of our Harry Potter or Narnia movie nights, complete with themed snacks, costumes, music, and other bookish stuff.

Have you ever participated in any literary holidays or events to promote reading?


  1. I didn't realize that today was Family Literacy day. I spent the day ironing, sewing, and doing things mostly unrelated to reading. Whoops! I guess I can redeem the day by starting THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT before I head to bed, right? :) Sounds like you guys had a good day!

    1. I suppose I should've mentioned that when we were texting today. Stupid me. Have fun reading THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT. Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

  2. Oh, I haven't read 'Everything on it' (I'm a Silverstein fan, too).

    My mom never did any literacy promoting things when I was growing up... at least, not for me. I was a naturally huge bookworm. In fact, my punishment growing up was usually no books!

    I tutor, so I do try to encourage my students to branch out and try different books. They have their required reading for school, but we'll usually throw a fun book in on the side :)

    1. Everything On It was only released in 2011 so it was a nice surprise when Harper Collins decided to publish more of Shel Silverstein's poems posthumously. You should definitely check it out!

      I was a total bookworm too. My mom read a lot to me, and we spent a fair amount of time in used bookstores, but like you, I didn't require any encouragement to have my nose in a book all the time. That's great that you get your students to try different books. You never know how a book can change your perspective. I didn't like sci-fi as a kid and now I love it. :)

  3. Oh yes, you listed two of my absolute favorite children's authors. Happy Family Literacy Day!

    1. Nice! I knew you liked Madeleine L'Engle but I'm glad to hear you're a Shel Silverstein fan too. I think it's a testament to their writing that they're so popular all these years later.