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TIME WELL SPENT

- ‘Family Literacy Day’ Highlights Value of Talking, Playing or Reading with Children to Encourage Literacy -

Spending a few minutes each day to improve a child’s literacy skills is a worthwhile investment of time that can pay off in life-long benefits for the entire family.

That is the message the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is promoting in the lead up to Family Literacy Day on January 27. The Health Unit encourages parents and caregivers to talk, listen, play or read with youngsters for at least 15 minutes each day to help improve literacy skills.

“Spending at least 15 minutes a day doing literacy activities with children has many benefits. You get to spend quality time together as a family, and you’re also helping to improve your child’s speech and language skills,” says Shelley Shaughnessy, a Family Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit.

There are many fun ways that families can encourage literacy skills, without children even realizing it is learning, Shaughnessy adds. Reading a book at bedtime, visiting the library, playing a board game together, doing an alphabet scavenger hunt or telling knock-knock jokes while doing the dishes can all be options.

Another way for families to encourage literacy with children is to point out how reading and writing show up in everyday activities, such as reading traffic signs while driving or writing a grocery list at home.

For more family literacy tips and activities, parents and caregivers are encouraged to visit the Family Literacy Day website.

Local families should also check with their local library or Ontario Early Years Centre to see if there are special events planned in their community as part of Family Literacy Day.

A partial list of community happenings is available at the KidTalk website, as well as other information on speech and language milestones and resources to promote speech skills. The KidTalk website is a service of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Pre-school Speech and Language Program.

 

For media inquiries, contact:

Shelley Shaughnessy, Family Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100 or toll-free: 1-866-888-4577.

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