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Literacy BC Celebrates Family Literacy Day

Literacy BC Celebrates Family Literacy Day

This year’s Family Literacy Day theme, Sing for Literacy, resonates with us for three reasons. One, singing promotes literacy skills. Supporting and promoting literacy and life-long learning is our mission. Two, 2010 is Literacy BC’s 20th anniversary. What better way to celebrate than through song? Three, from the spirituals of the deep south to the folk music of the sixties to the fundraiser “We are the World” in 1985, singing has always been a way to express solidarity and commitment to a cause. Our cause? The belief that literacy affects everyone and everyone has a part to play in raising literacy levels.

Reading, writing, arithmetic and problem solving are the basic tools that allow people to learn, grow and contribute to society. We begin developing these skills in childhood and continue learning throughout our lives. That is why family literacy—paying attention to the skills of all family members, not just children—is so important.

Parents and caregivers are children’s first and most important teachers. Thirty percent of BC’s children do not have the skills they need to succeed when they start school. To help children learn basic skills, we must start with families. It is true that children benefit when adults read with them and support their learning. But what of adults who struggle to read? Forty percent of British Columbians do not have the literacy skills to fully participate and succeed in today’s knowledge-based economy. Fourteen percent of British Columbians struggle with basic text.
 
Unless we help parents as well as children develop their skills, struggles with learning will continue from generation to generation. Literacy BC supports adult learning by referring learners to literacy programs, funding adult learners, offering professional development and resources to literacy practitioners, and raising awareness of literacy issues.

Singing improves basic literacy skills. You need to read the lyrics, count the beats, pronounce the words and understand the meaning of the song. These crucial skills enable full participation in society. Singing also unites us. This Family Literacy Day, raise your voice to support literacy in British Columbia. Visit www.literacybc.ca to find out how you can make a difference.