Barriere is all set to celebrate Family Literacy Week (Jan. 26 to Feb. 2) and throughout this week families are being encouraged to get off their phones, gaming systems, and TVs, and instead spend time reading, learning and playing together. Everyone in the area is being encouraged to join with Interior Savings to celebrate “Unplug and Play” during the week.
The goal of Interior Savings Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week is to encourage and raise awareness about the importance of family literacy and the importance of finding a healthy balance between screen time and other beneficial activities needed for healthy living.
“Creating a fun environment within the family that supports literacy for all ages is a positive move to help children to improve and develop language and literacy skills that will create a solid base for learning that will last a lifetime,” says Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach Coordinator Jill Hayward, “Unplug and Play is a positive step towards teaching children to learn by doing, participating, and playing. It is also a great opportunity to be together as a family without the distraction of an electronic device.”
Parents become the child’s first teacher, and research shows that children who grow up in homes that promote family literacy are better readers and do better in school. Family literacy is best defined as activities in the home that help to build literacy skills for children while at the same time improving literacy skill development for all members within the family.
“Reading with children connects them to the people they love. “It’s a child’s introduction to reading and helps create a lifelong love of reading,” said Margaret Sutherland, executive director of Decoda Literacy Solutions – B.C.’s provincial literacy organization.
A special event for Literacy Week on Wednesday, Jan. 29, will be taking place at Barriere Elementary School when Magician Leif David will be performing for the students at 1:30 p.m., thanks to Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach and Funding from Interior Savings Unplug and Play.
On Sunday, Feb. 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach’s 2nd Annual Indoor Teddy Bear Picnic will be underway in the gymnasium at the Barriere Ridge. This free event is open to families of all ages, and everyone is encouraged to bring their favourite stuffy to join in the festivities. There will be a Teddy Bear/Stuffie Parade with prizes for all, live music by well known entertainer Gordie West, games, crafts, Lego, and of course the Teddy Bear Doctor will be on site to perform healthy check ups on the stuffies and issue a health certificate for all those who get checked out. There will be free snacks and refreshments, or bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy with family or friends. Tons of fun and a brand new book for every child that attends. If you would like more information or have a little time to volunteer at this event please call Jill Hayward at 250-319-8023.
Week-long activities at the Barriere Library will get underway one day early on Saturday, Jan. 25, with a Family Games Day drop-in from 10:30-2:30, on Tuesday, Jan. 28 there is Tiny Tunes starting at 11 a.m. with songs, rhymes, and lots of fun for zero to five years; on Wednesday, Jan. 29, the adult’s Coffee, Crosswords, and Colouring takes place, and the After School Club meets from 3 -4:30 p.m.; on Friday, Jan. 31, drop in to see what the Yarn and Yap is all about starting at 1 p.m.; and on Saturday, Feb. 1, the zero to age 99 Lego Club meets from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Head Librarian in Barriere, Pam Rudd, says the Library will have a display available all through Family Literacy Week where photographs can be taken by individuals who would like to enter the Decoda Literacy Week Photo Contest. Rudd says there will be props available to help make your photographs and selfies special. Drop in and check it all out.
The Indoor Teddy Bear Picnic is sponsored by Interior Savings, Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach, Yellowhead Community Services, North Thompson Star/Journal and Black Press.
See you at the Indoor Teddy Bear Picnic, and don’t forget to bring your bear!