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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.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is promoting that message in the lead up to Family Literacy Day on January 27. The awareness day promotes the importance of adults talking, listening, playing and reading with children to help develop strong literacy skills for life.

“Making literacy-related activities part of your daily routine on Family Literacy Day – and every day of the year – is key to improving your child’s speech and language skills,” says Shelley Shaughnessy, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “All it takes is 15 minutes a day, and what you’re doing is not only spending quality time together as a family, you’re helping support strong literacy skills that are essential for children to reach their full potential in our changing and dynamic world.”

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.

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

Literacy activities, resources, and speech and language milestones are also available at the KidTalk website. The KidTalk website is part of the Preschool Speech and Language Services program that covers Haliburton County, Northumberland County, the City of Kawartha Lakes, and Peterborough City-County.

For media inquiries, contact:

Shelley Shaughnessy, Public Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1272.

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