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Family Literacy Day 2021

Family Literacy Day was created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. Held annually on January 27, ABC Life Literacy Canada is this year encouraging families to "Travel the world together". Use your imagination to go exploring and travel the world together as a family ñ you never know what youíll learn!
Family Literacy Day Honorary Chair, Barbara Reid invites families to use their imagination to explore and travel the world together! Barbara Reid is a picture book illustrator and author whose award-winning artwork is created using modelling clay.

  1. Go online - Research a country that interests you on the internet with your family. Find out things like the language they speak, their currency, and popular food, music and sports.

  2. Flags of the world - Look up colourful flags from different countries and try drawing them together.

  3. Ciao! Cooked - Teach your family how to say hello and goodbye in different languages.

  4. Greetings from abroad - Imagine youíre on a vacation and write a postcard to a friend or family member. Describe the weather, what itís like and what activities youíre doing.

  5. Map the world Look at a blank world map and try to name each continent and ocean. For more of a challenge, try identifying countries or even cities.

  6. Family vacation - Research your next family vacation online together, even if you donít have one planned. Look up how much it will cost to travel there, hotels and activities, and put together a budget for your trip.

  7. Get cookiní! Find a recipe for a popular international dish, such as butter chicken or paella. Follow the recipe together as a family and enjoy the meal you've creted.

  8. Family history - Research your familyís history and culture. Learn about your family traditions (how about starting a new one!)

  9. Sounds of the world - Go to YouTube as a family and play some popular songs from other countries. Dance and move to different tunes and hum along, trying to guess what the lyrics mean.

  10. A to Z - Test your familyís geographic knowledge by trying to name a country for every letter of the alphabet. Hint: there is one for every letter except X.

Take 20 minutes to Keep Family Literacy Skills Sharp

Life can be busy, especially for families. Between work, school and extra-curricular activities, itís difficult to fit in extra time to spend learning as a family. This can become even more difficult as children get older and become more independent. But no matter how difficult it may be, itís important to make family learning time a priority.

Putting aside just 20 minutes a day to do a fun learning activity ñ whether itís reading a book, playing a game, following a recipe or singing a song can have a significant impact on both parent and child. In honour of Family Literacy Day on January 27, 2020, here are 10 reasons why you should set aside 20 minutes a day to read and learn as a family in 2020.

  1. Have better relationships.†Setting aside 20 minutes of quality uninterrupted time to do a learning activity together provides important bonding time, which helps establish stronger relationships.

  2. Improve academic performance. There is a strong correlation between a childís ability to read and their academic performance. Children who read or are read to for 20 minutes a day have scores on standardized tests in the 90th percentile.

  3. Reduce Stress. A 2009 study by the University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by up to 68%. Imagine how relaxed youíd be if you spent 20 minutes a day!

  4. Increase your happiness. Learning gives people a sense of purpose and accomplishment that lead to a happier more fulfilling life. Adult learning is said to improve optimism and self-worth by eight per cent.

  5. Improve your vocabulary. People who read for just 20 minutes per day see 1.8 million words each year!

  6. Improve your memory. Your memory makes connections between what you already know about the topic of the story and its content. Reading has been linked to slowing mental decline by†improving overall mental flexibility, an important component to developing and retaining memory.

  7. Earn more money. For every year that a person spends reading, their lifetime earning potential goes up considerably. For a time investment of approximately 87 hours a year (20 minutes a day for 5 days a week), you can increase both yours and your childís future earning potential.

  8. Improve your health.†Statistics show ìadult learners are 14 per cent more likely to give up smoking. There is also an improvement in eating habits with reports of, ìup to 50 per cent reduction in obesity for men who gain their first qualification.

  9. Live longer.†According to research,†mental stimulation like reading can help protect memory and thinking skills, especially as you age. Reading every day can slow down the late-life cognitive decline and memory deterioration, indirectly helping you to live longer.

  10. Free entertainment for the whole family.†Taking the whole family to a movie can be expensive. Keep everyone entertained with free fun family learning activities, like the ones available at Download these resources for free and keep them on hand when you need an idea for how to spend 20 minutes on a family learning activity.

Feature Articles:

Focus on Education 2021

Developing curiosity: The six lead questions that promote Language and Learning

Family Literacy Day 2021

Remaining Connected When Disconnected During a Pandemic

Be a Better Parent in 2021

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