Community Papers

Literacy campaign aims to put shine on reading

Joan Chambers, co-ordinator of Literacy Now, South Okanagan-Similkameen, with the Honda car at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre she hopes the public will help fill this week with new or gently used books. Family Literacy Day is Saturday and a variety of exhibits and events are scheduled to take place at Cherry Lane.   - Mark Brett/Western News
Joan Chambers, co-ordinator of Literacy Now, South Okanagan-Similkameen, with the Honda car at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre she hopes the public will help fill this week with new or gently used books. Family Literacy Day is Saturday and a variety of exhibits and events are scheduled to take place at Cherry Lane.
— image credit: Mark Brett/Western News

Caught not taught.

According to outreach co-ordinator Joan Chambers of Literacy Now South Okanagan Similkameen, that is the best way to impart the joy of reading to kids.

To help do that, all this week leading up to Family Literacy Day Saturday, the goal is to show children and adults just how much fun exploring the written world of words can be.

“A few minutes of family learning everyday helps the children prepare for the challenges ahead, encourages a lifetime of reading enjoyment and also sharpens an adult’s literacy skills,” said Chambers.

“And you’re never too old. Literacy is one of those things that you use it or lose it and just because you may have graduated from university if you’re not really reading on a regular basis you begin to lose those skills.

“Having kids seeing you read for enjoyment goes a long ways for them to enjoy it.

“Be really positive about their progress and by bringing the story to life by asking questions about what’s happening is really engaging them.”

In large part, that is what prompted the decision by organizers to extend the Unplug and Play challenge to parents as well as children.

“We’re hoping to make families mindful of the importance to spend time together to read and do other activities that boost literacy like play a game together or read a recipe together or read a newspaper together or go on a sensory walk and experience your neighbourhood together,” said Chambers.

“I don’t think we are aware of how much time we spend plugged in. I think we are just caught up because so much information comes to us on line and in other ways so we don’t really think about unplugging and connecting with each other as much as we used to.

“Unplug and eat together, unplug and sing, get outside, unplug and be active.”

She hopes if families can do this for at least 15 minutes a day it will turn into much more time spent together and will be something which will continue.

Other events leading up to Saturday’s gala include the Heap the Honda Book Drive at Cherry Lane at week.

The public is asked to bring new or gently-used books and deposit them in the red Honda.

The donated materials will go to Strong Starts, health centres, Little Free libraries and take it or leave it book shelves in the community.

Thursday, there will be a three-hour Plain Language workshop which is open to everyone and takes place at the Penticton and Wine Country Visitors Centre from 9 a.m. to noon in the second floor boardroom.

On Saturday at Cherry Lane the fun begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m.

A variety of activities and displays are planned including one of the city’s first Free Little Libraries which is a covered, outside stand on the lawn of a local couple.

It makes books available for pickup and/or drop off 24/7 and is a growing, worldwide program.

 

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