In our world of computers, video games and smart phones it can be hard to find time for some old-fashioned book reading.
With a special event on Sunday, Jan. 27, however, Your Literacy Connection Westshore is challenging families to do just that and devote 15 minutes a day to reading together.
Events will happen all over the West Shore that day to promote reading as a fun and healthy activity for families.
The Buckham family, who live in Langford, believe in the importance of promoting literacy to their two young children. Their oldest son, Brent, now 6, attended the Books for Breakfast program at the Colwood Pacific Activity Centre until he started school, and now their youngest, Dean, 4, is following in his footsteps.
Kevin, the boys’ father, said the best part of the program is it provides the children with really good books, like those by Dr. Seuss, which helps encourage parents to read with their children.
“If you … pick up a Disney book generally they’re written really poorly and you don’t want to read them,” Kevin said. “You get books with alliteration in them or just fun rhymes, they’re just interesting and fun to read. … I think that’s super important, it gets both the kids and the parents really interested in the books and reading them.”
“Books are not just for the kids,” said Meena, the boys’ mother, “because we’re the ones that have to read them.”
The Buckhams read with their children every night before bed, no matter how late. Karma Wilson’s Bear series, such as Bear Snores On and Bear’s Loose Tooth, are family favourites, along with Dr. Seuss’ classic Hop on Pop.
“They always ask, even if it’s midnight or ten o’clock,” said Meena.
Both parents said they feel it’s important to teach their children the joys of literacy at a young age, in order to help them succeed as adults.
“I think if you get literate young it’s so much easier to keep up and learn,” Kevin said. “Everywhere you have to go, you read and write. If you hire somebody you’re looking for basic literacy skills.”
Organizers for the event recommend people take a self-guided learning tour and use the Langford Trolley to shuttle from one location to the other to enjoy a variety of events. For more information visit sookewestshoreliteracy.ca.
Family Literacy Day events:
Juan de Fuca Library – 2 to 3 p.m. -Tales from the Puppet Booth show
Goudy Library – 1 to 3 p.m. – Games table, 15 Minutes of Fun activity book
The READ Society – 1 to 4 p.m. – Readers Theatre, games, word bingo, prizes
Pacitic Centre Family Services Association – 1 to 2 p.m. – Mini Books for Breakfast; 2 to 3 p.m. – Take Apart learning station, book walk, free play
Sooke Family Resource Society – 1 to 3 p.m. – Parent and tot drop-in
Origin Bakery – 1 to 2 p.m. – Gluten-free cookie baking class (pre-registration required at sookewestshoreliteracy.ca)
Goldstream Nature House – 1 to 3 p.m. – Story time with Salmon Storubook, reading corner, bargain books for sale
Broken Paddle Coffeehouse – 1 to 3 p.m. – Letter writing and drawing
Tumblebums – 1 to 3 p.m. – 15 Minutes of Fun activity sheets