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Family literacy week encourages virtual and outdoor connection

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:57 PST, Mon January 24, 2022

Families throughout the province are encouraged to recognize this year's Family Literacy Week by reading books, playing games, attending online and outdoor events, and connecting with loved ones virtually.

"Many people in B.C. struggle with literacy, and as part of our ongoing effort to build awareness about the importance of developing literacy skills, our government has proclaimed Family Literacy Week from Jan. 23 to 30 this year," said Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne. "This week is an opportunity for families to come together, connect to the joy of literacy and celebrate the benefits of reading with others in their community."

Each year, Family Literacy Week focuses on a theme that communities throughout the province can build events and gatherings around. The theme this year is "Let's Connect! Care, Play, Listen."

"We cannot underestimate the importance of reading for children—it benefits a child's education, social and cognitive development, well-being and mental health," said Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside. "This Family Literacy Week, and every day, I encourage B.C. families to join together to read, sing, talk and play games to help our youngest learners grow and thrive."

This year, the province provided more than $2 million in support of community literacy to Decoda Literacy Solutions, a non-profit organization that uses this funding to support the co-ordination of community literacy services and initiatives in B.C. Each year, government also contributes $500,000 to the Vancouver Sun's annual Raise-a-Reader campaign and programs.

"Children learn about their world when they explore and play. Connecting with others, places and ideas supports their social, emotional and physical health," said Margaret Sutherland, executive director of Decoda Literacy Solutions. "Telling family stories, enjoying the outdoors, playing games, singing songs and reading with children all strengthen connections and create great memories."

Decoda Literacy Solutions is hosting a photo contest that everyone can participate in. Participants are encouraged to take a photo using a "Let's Connect! Care, Play, Listen" theme and post on social media or submit by email to There will be a class prize and a prize for individuals.

Family Literacy Day is the largest national family literacy initiative in Canada, created in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada. The province has proclaimed Jan. 27 as Family Literacy Day for the past 22 years. This is the sixth year the province has extended the celebration from one day to a week.

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