Book 'em, kids

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January 14, 2016 9:52 AM

Lloydminster could become the most well read city in Alberta during Family Literacy Day.
The Lloydminster Learning Council and the Lloydminster Public Library are challenging residents to read for 15 minutes and submit their names on Jan. 27 for an official count.
Lloydminster Mayor Rob Saunders will proclaim Family Literacy Day in council chambers Jan. 25 to generate awareness of the city-wide reading challenge. More than 300 people took part in family literacy day last year.
That number should be much higher this year with a new “read for 15 minutes” challenge,  according to lead organizer Darlene MacDonald, executive director of the learning council.
“We really want to have a great challenge so that we can come out on top on the province,“said MacDonald.
“We’ll have lots of our partners attend the proclamation as we work and partner with many organizations in the city throughout the year promoting family literacy.”
MacDonald said it doesn’t matter who reads what to whom as long as it’s 15 minutes. Those who take up the challenge are asked to submit their name to the learning council by phone at 780-875-5763 or either by e-mail at learning@telusplanet.net or by googling their Facebook page.
“The children can be reading to a family member, a grandparent, a fellow student, a teacher, or the parent can be reading to a child,” she said.
“It’s literacy week, so it’s for anybody.”
Students at select schools including St Mary’s Elementary School and Queen Elizabeth School will add their names to the 15 minute reading challenge.
“Everyone can read for 15 minutes whether that’s reading recipes or menus or reading to a classroom or a blog,” said Lloydminster Public School Division communications coordinator Mallory Clarkson.
Clarkson said LPSD is in the process of finalizing their literacy day celebrations focused at Queen Elizabeth School.
St. Mary’s school plans to hold a Dress As Your Favourite Book Character Day and all grades will participate in a variety of reading activities as an event partner. The learning council promotes life-long learning for adults and families with a variety of programs including family literacy and English as a second language.
Approximately 42 per cent of Canadian adults between the ages of 16 and 65 have low literacy skills, according to the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network.
“The more literate we are the better we are with health and with finding jobs,” said MacDonald.
MacDonald said literacy day underscores the importance of having a family member read to a child.
“It’s just amazing because that’s how children first get excited about literacy if there’s enthusiasm in the home about reading or about having games with anything to do with literacy,” she said.
MacDonald said rhyming or playing numerical games can also help a child with literacy.
“For the learner that is having difficulty reading or is not enjoying it, there are other things they can do to up their game and their skills so let’s have fun,” she said.
“Let’s not make it a difficult task.”

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