Celebrating National Family Literacy Day - January 27th

Posted:14 January 2016

Author: Tanis Harms, Community Learning Network

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Comments: 2

Recommendations: 1


Following the release of the new CALP Guidelines, many CALP organizations are venturing out to include Family Literacy in their programming for the first time. Family Literacy Day is a great opportunity to showcase this new area of programming and resources available to your community.

“Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually on January 27 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Taking time every day to read or do a learning activity with children is crucial to a child’s development. Even just 15 minutes a day can improve a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.” (Retrieved January 7, 2016 from http://abclifeliteracy.ca/family-literacy)

 

Why Celebrate “Family Literacy Day”?

 

  • Great Exposure for your CALP
    • Builds awareness of who your organization is and what your organization does
    • Promotes your new or upcoming Family Literacy programming
    • Connects CALP staff faces to your organization
    • Those who hear or participate in your event will likely talk about it with others
  • Fosters Partnerships
    • Creates or reinforces partnerships with community organizations
    • Builds a foundation on which to continue to partner
  • Learner Recruitment
    • Creates an opportunity to connect with potential families for upcoming Family Literacy programs
    • Creates an opportunity for those who are not interested in Family Literacy programs to find out the variety of other learning opportunities your organization provides
  • Funding Possibilities
    • Exposure helps potential funders become aware of who your organization is and what your organization does
    • Awareness opportunity for how community partners can support your organization better with funding or in-kind contributions

 

What Could Your CALP Do to Celebrate?

 

  • Have an “Open House” Event
    • Set up areas for family literacy fun & interaction
      • Reading Corner
      • Blocks Area
      • Playdough Corner
      • Craft Corner
      • Etc.
    • Include a table close to snacks, answer questions about your organization, provide information regarding upcoming programs and contact information.
  • Have a Free Book Exchange
    • Set up tables in different age group categories where those who come can “Bring a Book, Take a Book”.
    • Provide a bag to each family which includes your organization’s upcoming programs and contact information.
  • Have a “15 Minutes of Fun” Challenge
    • Set up a place where families can sign up to commit to having “15 Minutes of Fun” for a set amount of time (for example, 2 weeks or 1 month).
    • Collect prizes (from partners, etc.) and at the end of the set challenge time, do a draw for participant families.
    • Be sure to collect contact information including email addresses (with permission) to announce the winners (and of course, to include your organizations contact information with upcoming programs).
  • Have a Book Give Away
    • Collect donations of funds towards buying books or books themselves (new preferably) to give away – one to each family - at a popular community location.
    • Before giving the books away, print your organization’s contact information on office labels and stick these on the back or inside cover of each book.
    • Set up your organization’s booth/banner if possible in the location, and be sure to give away contact and upcoming program information with the free books.
  • Have a Community Wide Event
    • With partners, find an appropriate venue to set up for a couple of hours
    • Include an advertised schedule of events that may include:
      • Circle times of rhymes/songs/stories
        • Perhaps even a local “celebrity” (firefighter, policeman, politician, athlete, etc.) could read a book
        • If do not have a family literacy facilitator yet, perhaps a local librarian would step up to help out with this area
      • Activities (centres where families can interact)
      • Snacks
      • Give aways/draw prizes
      • Etc.
  • Distribute Information on Family Literacy
    • Print out documents about family literacy and distribute in key community locations (including grocery stores, libraries, etc.)
    • Be sure to also include your organizations information on what you distribute!

 

How Could Your CALP Get the Word Out?

 

  • Word of Mouth is always best!
  • Paper or electronic newsletters/flyers in your local schools, gas stations, grocery stores, libraries, community boards etc.
  • Radio advertisements (many radio stations have a free “Community Events” section for non-profits)
  • Social Media – advertise on your organizations page and ask it to be shared

 

Other Resources:

 

For some more ideas of encouraging “15 Minutes of Fun” with Families:

For some more ideas and resources of how to get the word out:

We'd love to hear about what Family Literacy Day CALP events have worked well in your community, and if you are planning anything new!

Tanis Harms
Regional Support Staff
Northern Alberta

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