Nova Scotia families who are working to boost their literacy skills through workshops, games and activities are being celebrated on Family Literacy Day, today, Jan. 27.
East Hants MLA Margaret Miller, on behalf of Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan, joined people who have benefitted from literacy programs at an event at the Lloyd E.
Matheson Centre in Elmsdale.
“Over the years, I’ve spent countless hours reading to my kids and grandkids, and I know how important literacy is to success,” said Ms. Miller. “Today is an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of literacy for the whole family, and celebrate people who’ve made lifelong learning their lifelong passion.”
At the event, local authors Jayne Peters and Mindy George read some of their work, and Brittney Slade shared her inspiring story about returning to the classroom.
As a young expectant mother who had been out of school for three years, Ms. Slade knew she wanted a better life for her family, but did not know where to start. She enrolled at the Mommy to Be program at the East Hants Community Learning Association to connect with other moms and learn some parenting tips. In the end, she got much more.
“The people at the community center encouraged me to go back to school and get my GED, and I am so glad I listened,” said Ms. Slade. “In the beginning, I didn’t have a clue. The literacy coordinators made it so easy and now I have a plan to fulfill my dream of becoming a hairdresser.”
Over the past year, 1,500 Nova Scotian families participated in 18 literacy programs supported by the government. The programs feature special theme workshops, information sessions and learning circles offered by community-based literacy organizations.
At a Family Literacy Day event at the Antigonish Library, author Sheree Fitch will read some of her work and announce the winners of the Sixth Annual Family Writing Contest. Environment Minister Randy Delorey will also attend and speak.
“Family Literacy programs provide engaging and creative ways to involve the whole family in learning,” said Cathy MacDonald, East Hants Community Learning Association. “When parents learn new skills, and share that with their children, it lays the foundation for learning to become a lifelong process for all involved. It’s really exciting and rewarding to help families start down that path.”
The government will contribute $40,000 to the Read to Me! Program, which has created a new resource just in time for Family Literacy Day.
Read to Me! celebrates family reading, and provides books and reading resources for every baby born in Nova Scotia. This month, in partnership with the Nova Scotia Provincial Library, a new resource for parents that lists 50 best books for babies will launch.
Find more information about family literacy at www.gonssal.ca . Follow the links to General Public, Other Literacy Programs, Family Literacy.