The Martins are a family with two young children. Like many families in our city, they are busy and have many pressures in their life. They have few books in their home and have been unable to support their children’s reading development. In homes like the Martins, how can young children learn to read with confidence and joy?
On average, children in Alberta spend 950 hours a year in school and 7800 out of school.
Parents and the home environment play a critical role in nurturing a childhood literacy child’s life-long love of reading. Since 2000, Alberta’s reading scores have been declining, along with children’s interest in reading for pleasure. Families are essential in creating positive associations with reading. Reading aloud is the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading. Calgary Reads is working to increase parent capacity so that more children grow up in homes with where reading and books are a priority:
– Welcome Baby – We are working with health care professionals to distribute books and tips on how to read with your child during ‘well baby checkups’.
– Family literacy nights – We bring families together, including new Canadians and those for whom English is not their first language. These fun events inspire families and communities to make reading a part of their lives and provide inspiration, tips, and resources to build literacy skills.
– Online resources – We provide free resources for families to share the importance of reading and how to read aloud to children. Reading aloud builds many important foundational skills, introduces vocabulary, provides a model of fluent, expressive reading, and helps children recognize what reading for pleasure is all about.
There is more we can do. Your gift of reading this holiday season will help us support families like the Martins build a literacy rich home and help their children develop stronger reading skills. give.calgaryreads.com