Online songs

People go out in line to celebrate Family Literacy Week

Families across the province are encouraged to mark this year’s Family Literacy Week by reading books, playing games, participating in online and outdoor events, and connecting virtually with loved ones.

“Many people in British Columbia struggle with literacy, and as part of our ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of developing literacy skills, our government has declared Family Literacy Week from the 23rd to the 30th January of this year,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “This week is a time for families to come together, connect with the joy of literacy, and celebrate the benefits of reading with others in their community.”

Each year, Family Literacy Week focuses on a theme around which communities across the province can organize events and gatherings. This year’s theme is “Let’s Connect!” Treat yourself, 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 Jennifer Whiteside , education Minister. “This Family Literacy Week, and every day, I encourage families across British Columbia to come together to read, sing, talk and play games to help our youngest learners grow and blossom.

This year, the province provided more than $2 million in community literacy support to Decoda Literacy Solutions, a not-for-profit organization that uses this funding to support the coordination of community literacy services and initiatives in British Columbia. Each year, the government also donates $500,000 to the Vancouver Sun’s annual Raise-a-Reader campaign and programs.

“Children discover 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, Decoda Literacy Solutions. “Telling family stories, enjoying the outdoors, playing games, singing songs and reading with children all strengthens bonds and creates great memories.”

Examples of Family Literacy Week events happening in BC communities:

  • Decoda Literacy Solutions is running a photo contest that anyone can enter. Participants are encouraged to take a photo using a “Let’s Connect!” Heal, play, listen theme and post it on social media or submit via email to [email protected]. There will be a class prize and a prize for individuals.
  • Families in Kitimat, Vernon and the Sunshine Coast organize story walks where families and individuals can walk through their local communities reading stories.
  • Powell River families are invited to add color and design to a six-meter (20-foot) mural designed by a local artist on the theme of eco-literacy.

Fast facts:

  • Family Literacy Day is Canada’s largest national family literacy initiative, established in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada.
  • The province has proclaimed January 27 as Family Literacy Day for the past 22 years. This is the sixth year that the Province has extended the celebration from one day to one week.

Learn more:

Decoda Literacy Solutions:

A list of Family Literacy Week events happening across the province, including “Let’s Connect!” Tip sheets, fact sheets and social media resources:

Decoda Family Literacy Week Photo Contest:

Read the proclamation here:

Find your public library: