Family Literacy Day

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BY HARNOOR GILL
Grade 10 student
Christ The King Catholic Secondary
Georgetown, Ontario

READING is a great way to relax and relieve the stresses of the day. It helps improve literacy skills and is fundamental to every child’s learning. A great initiative that provides awareness about this issue on a national level is Family Literacy Day by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999. Ever since it was founded, it’s been held annually on January 27 to raise awareness of the importance of reading as well as encouraging engagement in other literacy-related activities. This year I will be celebrating this event by letting more people know about it, sharing my experiences in library volunteering and relating how you can augment literacy through short and easy tasks.
ABC Life Literacy Canada has a great way of promoting awareness of reading by engagement with your family. They state that even just 15 minutes a day can improve a child’s literacy dramatically and it can even assist a parent to hone their own skills as well. There are three different ways that this can be achieved.
The first way that ABC Life Literacy Canada says is playing a new board game together as a family. This helps increase literacy skills in a fun and challenging way by using instructions on a board game.
Another way is telling knock-knock jokes while doing the dishes. This helps their memory as they have to remember the joke.
Finally, make a new recipe together with your family and then post it online. This helps achieve typing skills as well as enables to identify where the letters are on the keyboard.
My journey volunteering at the library started at a young age just like everything else I’ve done. It started off when I went to borrow a book at the library and noticed teenagers shelving books, which didn’t make sense to me. I thought to myself why would teenagers be working at a library of all places. So, I asked one of them if they worked at the library. I learned that the teenagers were actually volunteering to get their 40 hours of community service. I decided that I wanted to become one of these people too because I knew my way around the library pretty well.
At first, I was advised to wait until high school to even apply for this opportunity. But I argued that I would influence other youth to help out too by starting out at a young age. Once, I got accepted I felt honoured to be helping the local library, helping the community grow and, best of all, helping people choose their books!
This day is important to me as I want to spread awareness about it as much as I can as this is essentially how I started off volunteering. I went out of my way to get this opportunity. I hope my story inspires you to do something about literacy levels and gets you to get up and take ACTION like me!
Remember, your library is also a place where you can volunteer too!
So, keep calm and read! Have a Happy Family Literacy Day!