Family Literacy Day and the Difference it Makes

Posted:11 January 2017

Author: Tanis Harms, Community Learning Network

Found in:

Comments: 1

Recommendations: 1

*Did you know that studies show that as little as 15-20 minutes of reading a day dramatically helps both children and adults succeed in life?

Family Literacy Day is one excellent platform for promoting the importance of reading on our own and as families! Before we get to the benefits mentioned above, let’s first find out some more about Family Literacy Day…

When is Family Literacy Day?

January 27 is National Family Literacy Day.

When did Family Literacy Day Start and Why?

“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, improving a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.” (Retrieved November 29, 2016 from

What do Family Literacy Programs Focus on?

Many of you who work in the Community Adult Learning Program world are already aware of the benefits of using Family Literacy Programs as a strategy in working with Adults with foundational literacy and learning needs. If you have already taken the Introduction to Family Literacy Certificate training, you will know that: “Family literacy programs focus on parents as the means to improve the reading and writing skills of all family members. By reading to children and engaging in fun literacy activities, parents are actively keeping their own skills sharp while at the same time strengthening the relationship between the family which, in turn, encourages lifelong learning.” (Retrieved November 29, 2016 from

Why does reading 15-20 minutes a day matter?

One of the biggest awareness pieces when it comes to Family Literacy Day is spreading the news that simply reading 15-20 minutes a day matters in every person’s learning.

Benefits for Kids:

  • Beyond enjoying snuggle time with loved ones and having some quality bonding time, reading 15-20 minutes a day is also proven to help kids…
  • Be ready for kindergarten
  • Get better grades throughout school
  • Get better jobs that make more money
  • Be more likely to succeed in life
  • Be happier as adults, having a higher self-esteem.
  • Grow their brain
  • Overcome the barriers of poverty

(Retrieved November 29, 2016 from:

For further information, here are some great resource links:

Stats: Benefits of Reading 20 Minutes a Day

Watch: Dr. Hutton Talks about the Importance of Reading 15 Minutes A Day

Read: Stats Poster on the Importance of Reading 15 Minutes Per Day; Stats Poster for Parents

Download: Promo Downloads

Handouts: Parent Handouts

Benefits for Adults:

It is clear to see that reading 15-20 minutes a day with a child makes an incredible difference in the child’s success. In the CALP world though, we focus on Family Literacy as an adult learning strategy. Do you know that reading everyday also has great gains for adults?

10 Benefits of Reading - Why You Should Read Every Day

  1. Mental Stimulation
  2. Stress Reduction
  3. Knowledge
  4. Vocabulary Expansion
  5. Memory Improvement (I had to look back to remember this one…I need to read more!)
  6. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills
  7. Improved Focus and Concentration
  8. Better Writing Skills
  9. Tranquility
  10. Free Entertainment

Pretty incredible hey? Let’s take 15-20 minutes out of our day today to engage in this crucial activity in order to reap these amazing benefits!

Does Reading Make You Smarter?

This article (click the title hyperlink) reiterates some of the benefits mentioned above, but also adds that reading can help with better communication skills. It also describes reading as exercise for the brain…a great way to work off all the Christmas baking perhaps…

What will your CALP do?

SO….what will your CALP do to promote both the importance of reading 15-20 minutes each day as well as celebrating Family Literacy Day in your community? Please share with us in the comments below. Also, register your Family Literacy Day event here: and be sure to share your event on the CALP Portal calendar! If you’re stuck on ideas of how to celebrate, click Celebrating National Family Literacy Day - January 27 for some ideas!

Tanis Harms
Regional Support Staff
Northern Alberta


Sign in to view 1 comment