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Reading is a family affair


Photo by Joanna Becket. Tara Kennedy, 4, and her two-year-old sister Becca, learn how to follow the leader and count with their fingers as part of Belleville library’s Storytime

By Joanna Becket

This week, they’ll be telling stories all across Canada.

Close to home, story lovers of all ages will gather to listen, learn, share and spin a tale or two as part of the Belleville Public Library’s Family Literacy Day activities on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Family Literacy Day is a national program created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held every year on Jan. 27.

Almost half of all Canadian adults (48 per cent) have low literary skills, and in Ontario 30 per cent of the population (15 years of age and older) have less than a high school education. With the ongoing concern about literacy skills in Canada, ABC Life Literacy Canada and other organizations are focused on the need for action and the action starts at home.

“We encourage family literacy all year round,” said Suzanne Humphreys, children’s librarian at the Belleville Library. “Storytimes, rhymes, fingerplay – it’s not just about reading a book. There are all kinds of other avenues to encourage children in their early reading skills and literacy.”

Jacob Parks, who is almost six, has been coming to the library’s Storytime program since he was two.

“Reading was one of the first interactive activities we could do together, before he could even talk,” said his mom, Sabrina Chamberlain-Parks. “He learned so much by just sitting on my lap and having me point out pictures. I introduced him to the world through books.”

To celebrate Family Literacy Day, this week’s Saturday morning Storytime session will focus on reading as a family affair, with books such as How Rocket Learned to Read, by Tad Hills, and Five Little Monkeys Reading, by Eileen Christelow.