Ten Things You Can Do to Support Literacy in Your Community

The PEI Literacy Alliance recently joined many literacy organizations and formed the Literacy Champions Network. The Network is a coalition of provincial and territorial literacy organizations that work together to promote the importance of literacy across Canada. We share a vision where everyone has the basic skills they need to succeed.

  1. Follow us on Social Media.

Follow the organizations that make up the Literacy Champions Network on social media. Like and share their pages. Together, we can amplify the message of literacy and make a meaningful impact in promoting literacy for all. From September 1 to 8, each organization celebrates International Literacy Day on social media.

#LiteracyChampionsNetwork #LiteracyDay #InternationalLiteracyDay2023 #Literacy #LiteracyMatters #LiteracyConnects #LiteracyEmpowers #LiteracyOpensDoors #LiteracyForAll 

  1. Donate to Literacy Charities

Consider making financial contributions to literacy-focused nonprofits, community centres or schools. Your donations can help provide books, educational resources, and support literacy programs. You can support CanLearn here.

  1. Advocate for Literacy Policies and Funding

Raise awareness about the importance of literacy by sharing information on social media, organizing community discussions, or writing to local representatives to advocate for increased support and funding for literacy initiatives. Check out the Left Unread campaign that advocates for early literacy in Alberta.

  1. Read with Your Children or Other Family Members

Reading for fun can benefit children and adults by improving imagination, focus, and relaxation. You can encourage a love of reading by sharing books with your children or relatives. You can also join a family literacy program or a book club to connect with other readers.

  1. Start a Book Drive

Organize a book drive in your community to collect new or gently used books. Donate these books to local schools, libraries, or literacy organizations to ensure they reach those who need them.

  1. Celebrate Literacy Events

You can join local, national and international literacy celebrations by participating in events and initiatives promoting lifelong learning.

  •  Family Literacy Day on January 27
  • World Book Day on April 23
  • Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21
  • International Literacy Day on September 8
  • Canadian Library Month in October

Join us at our free CanLearn Open House on September 7, 2023, at the CanLearn office. RSVP here.

  1. Support Local Authors and Publishers

You can support Canadian literature by buying, reading, reviewing, and sharing books by local authors and publishers. You can also attend book launches, readings or festivals that showcase Canadian talent and diversity. WordFest is happening in Calgary on October 11 – 15, 2023.

  1. Create Literacy-Friendly Environments

You can make your home, workplace, or community more encouraging to literacy and learning by providing access to books, magazines, newspapers, or other educational materials. You can also help create spaces where people can read, write, and discuss ideas comfortably and without distractions. 

  1. Promote Community Literacy

Acknowledge and support the unique literacy needs of Canada’s diverse cultural communities. Discover authors, storytellers, and literacy programs dedicated to sharing and preserving our communities’ languages and cultures.

  1. Recognize and Appreciate Literacy Champions

You can acknowledge and appreciate the people who have made a difference in your literacy journey or the lives of others. You can thank them personally, write them a note, give them a gift or nominate them for an award. You can also celebrate their successes and support their efforts.

Each contribution, no matter how small or large, becomes a vital thread in the tapestry of a more literate and inclusive world. Even the smallest action can significantly impact someone’s life. 

Together, we can champion literacy and empower individuals from all backgrounds to unlock the transformative power of lifelong learning.

Back to School, Parents and Reading

CanLearn Literacy Programs

September brings many new things: cooler weather, shorter days, changing leaves… and returning to school. For some families with young children, the start of a new school year is exciting. For others, it can be a time of worry and anxiety. For many, it is both.

Returning to school is always a time when parents think about how to support their children’s reading development best. Parents need to talk with children about what they look forward to learning in the new school year and what worries them. Reading books together offers a perfect springboard to discuss these feelings. Here are five suggestions for back-to-school books to read aloud with young children.

  1. How to Get Your Octopus to School

Just like many children, Octopus is nervous about going to school. He would rather stay home and play, so he finds clever hiding places. This book is full of imagination, humour, and heart. The story and illustrations give children a chance to talk about a time they did not want to do something and include details about what they did to avoid it and why. *

  1. The Pigeon HAS to Go to School

This book is a great discussion starter as it addresses many of the fears and anxieties young children feel as they prepare to go to school for the first time. Pigeon is a great character that almost all children can relate to. This excellent book from Mo Willem’s series captures children’s interest and sense of humour while conveying a message. *

  1. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Children love this hilarious story about little Penelope Rex, who is nervous about going to school for the first time. It will inspire them to share some of the questions they wonder about before starting school. *

  1. Tomorrow I’ll be Kind

This uplifting and positive story encourages children to think about the most important things about being a good friend. The artwork in the book is beautiful and full of images that can prompt further discussion between parents and children. The story encourages children to promise they’ll be grateful, helpful, and kind.

  1. The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer

When the teacher asks the main character what he did over the summer break, he tells a tale full of daring adventures and mischievous characters. But is it all true? This is a great book to spark back-to-school storytelling and writing. Parents and children could create a comic strip of what they did (or didn’t do?) over the summer. *

Reading aloud with young children boosts their language abilities and prepares them to learn to read (break the code) and love it.

The picture book How to Read a Story illustrates the process of becoming a reader: pulling a book off the shelf and finding someone to share a story, reading aloud, predicting what will happen, and, finally, coming to The End. This story is perfect for helping children and parents understand what reading and enjoying a book looks like.