Monday, January 26, 2009

Canada celebrates Family Literacy Day

TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Families and communities across Canada will be
participating in literacy-related events on and around January 27 for Family
Literacy Day, Education ministers Kelly Lamrock and Shirley Bond announced
today on behalf of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).

"Family Literacy Day offers an opportunity for families across Canada to

discover and explore the joys of reading and learning," said Shirley Bond,
Minister of Education for British Columbia, CMEC's lead province for literacy.
"There are so many great and fun ways for families to share and grow together
- whether through playing word games or puzzles, reading or telling stories,
writing thank you letters or working from a recipe. By promoting literacy in
the home, we are investing in our children's future and preparing them for
success later in life."

Now in its 11th year, Family Literacy Day is a national awareness

initiative to promote the importance of literacy-related family play and
learning. Events being held across the country include:

- story-writing contests
- scrabble tournaments
- festivals
- public story readings
- read-a-thons - fundraisers
- book drives - reading circles
- traditional story-telling

Family Literacy was launched in 1999 by ABC Canada Literacy Foundation.
As part of Family Literacy Day celebrations, on January 23 and 24 ABC Canada
is encouraging Canadians to help break the Guinness World Record for "Most
Children Reading with an Adult, Multiple Locations." Participants can register
for the challenge online at

In their joint declaration, Learn Canada 2020, Canada's education

ministers identified literacy as one of their key priorities. As well as
supporting initiatives such as Family Literacy Day, they have created networks
on literacy across the country with the goal of gathering and sharing teaching
resources for learners of all ages.

"Literacy is the gateway to opportunity," said Kelly Lamrock, New
Brunswick's Minister of Education and Chair of CMEC. "By fostering an interest
in reading when children are young, we are supporting their growth into fully
literate adults, equipped with the skills and confidence to live happy,
healthy, productive lives."

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible

for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and
territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects
in areas of mutual interest and concern. Last April, CMEC held a Pan-Canadian
Literacy Forum to engage members of the education, non-profit, business, and
labour sectors in a dialogue about literacy. Highlights from the forum are now
available online. For more information, visit

For further information:
Tamara Davis, Council of Ministers of
Education, Canada (CMEC),
Tel.: (416) 962-8100, ext. 241,
Web site:;
Government of British Columbia, Public
Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Education,
Tel.: (250) 356-5963