Sunday January 24, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Family Literacy Week activities will be held online. The Province of BC has officially proclaimed January 24 to 31, 2021 as Family Literacy Week.
Promoting a combination of learning and movement, the government is encouraging British Columbians to read their favourite book, head outside for some fresh air, play their favourite games and connect with family virtually while growing their literacy skills.
“Children’s literacy skills expand and grow much faster when families read, play and learn together,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “Family Literacy Week is a great opportunity to focus on dynamic ways to support our youngest learners so they can develop the skills they need to succeed in their school years and beyond.”
The theme for Family Literacy Week this year is “Let’s Be Active! Move * Play * Learn.” That aims to focus people’s attention on the lifelong, wide-ranging benefits of being active.
For the past 21 years, the Province has proclaimed January 27 as Family Literacy Day. This is the fifth year the Province has extended the celebration from one day to more than a week.
Doing things differently during COVID:
“Families have learned to adjust to doing things differently under COVID-19, spending more time together and embracing creativity while learning,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Family Literacy Week is a wonderful time to connect with children, have fun together and read inspiring stories, and these activities help to build a solid foundation in literacy and lifelong learning.”
Over $2.5 million in support:
This year, government has provided over $2 million in support of community literacy to Decoda Literacy Solutions. Decoda uses this funding to support the co-ordination of community literacy services and initiatives throughout the province.
“Active play is essential for children’s development,” said Margaret Sutherland, executive director, Decoda Literacy Solutions. “It builds strength in so many areas – physical, social, emotional, language and thinking. Children learn by watching, so join in the fun!”
As well, the Province also contributes $500,000 for Postmedia’s Raise-a-Reader campaign and programs each year. Postmedia is a privately-owned news media enterprise.
Family Literacy Week events in B.C. communities:
- Decoda Literacy Solutions is hosting a photo contest that everyone can participate in. Participants are encouraged to take a photo using a “Let’s Be Active” theme and submit it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) – or post it on social media using these hashtags: #LetsBeActive and #FLW2021. There will be a class prize and a prize for individuals.
- Families in the Boundary area and on the Sunshine Coast are hosting “Story Strolls” where families and individuals can walk through their local parks, reading along to stories.
- Families in Pender Harbour are invited to join in “Words in the Woods.” Letters are placed on trees, and families and individuals are encouraged to find them, photograph them and unscramble the letters to reveal a secret phrase. There are prizes for participants who figure out the phrase.
- Victoria Literacy Connection. Literacy programs for all ages.
- Decoda is the only provincewide literacy organization in B.C.
- Family Literacy Day is the largest national family literacy initiative in Canada, created in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada.
===== LINKS: (provided by government)
- For more information and a full list of Family Literacy Week events happening throughout the province, visit:
- Decoda Literacy: www.decoda.ca
- Learn more about the Decoda and Family Literacy Week Photo Contest:
- Find “Let’s Be Active!” tip sheets, backgrounder, social media resources and the #FLW2021 event list on the Decoda Literacy Solutions website:
- Read the proclamation here: