Library to celebrate Family Literacy Day with visit from special guest

The Sylvan Lake Library will celebrate Family Literacy Day on Jan. 27 with a visit from a familiar figure.

The Sylvan Lake Library will celebrate Family Literacy Day on Jan. 27 with a visit from a familiar figure.

Ronald McDonald will read stories to children from 1 to 2 p.m. in promotion of Family Literacy Day — a nationwide initiative that encourages families to engage in literacy-related activities together.

“The purpose of the day is just to get everybody reading and (raise) awareness of the importance of literacy in their lives and in family life,” said Parkland Regional Library communications co-ordinator Meredith Bratland. “Literacy is one of the founding pillars of people’s well-being.”

The aim is to get families to make literacy part of their daily routines, she added.

“Families can work literacy into their everyday lives in a multitude of ways,” she said. “Go to your local library, try out some different books, try to go outside of your realm. Take 15 minutes to read a magazine or e-books online … even read the newspaper.”

Sylvan Lake Library programmer Corrie Brown said Family Literacy Day challenges the perception of reading as a primarily solo activity, and emphasizes the benefits of embracing it as a group activity.

But first and foremost, she feels, it’s fun.

“We like to make it an experience,” she said. “We promote literacy ideas for the whole family such as creating and writing a story, writing jokes, board games and taking the time to come down to the library as a family.”

Registration is required for the free event. Library membership isn’t required to attend.

Family Literacy Day was created in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada, and is celebrated by libraries across the country. ABC says children are more likely to become fully literate if they’re encouraged by adults at home. Taking part in literacy-building activities at home, it adds, can lead to success at school and a lifelong love of learning and reading.