| Jan 10, 2008

Jan 10/08 - Early Literacy

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Early Literacy - January, 2008 Celebrate Family Literacy Dayby Susan Ramsay, Early Literacy Specialist, HFL&A

You may have just packed up the Christmas decorations and recuperated from sleep deprivation on New Year’s Eve, but don’t for a second think the celebrations are over. A well-loved author is gearing up for a party… and you’re invited.

Exactly who is this author? I’ll give you some clues:

His energy is analogous to film personalities Jim Carrey or Robin Williams when he tells stories to children.

Although he is now author to over 50 books, nine editors turned him down before his first book was published.

On average, it takes him 5 years to write a book for publishing, though he often responds to children’s letters with a personalized poem or story.

If he could physically enter into story land and be in one of his books, he would like to star in Mortimer.

His writing can make young children giggle while adults sob, as in his best selling book “Love You Forever”.

Have you already guessed? You’re right. It is Robert Munsch, honorary chair of Family Literacy Day, celebrated on January 27 each year. Munsch is inviting families to join Family Literacy Day celebrations happening at libraries, schools, Early Years centres or literacy organizations across Canada.

Why celebrate? Research shows that children aged 2 to 3 who have been read to several times a day do better in kindergarten at the age of 4 and 5 than youngsters who have been read to only a few times a week or less. Family Literacy Day highlights the influence parents have on children of all ages through storytelling, book sharing, writing and singing together.

When asked by ABC CANADA what parents can do to encourage children to read, Robert Munsch gave this response. “First, turn off the TV for an hour everyday and read together. And make sure you have lots of books around. But make it fun. It shouldn't be like homework. Make reading entertaining - make funny sounds and act it out together - kids really like that! Also, find books that appeal to whatever your child is currently interested in. If they like trucks - read about trucks. And do other things together that encourage using words - singing, looking up stuff on the Internet, cooking together. REMEMBER: If your kids never see you reading, they will probably not think that reading is neat.” (www.abc-canada.org)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Family Literacy Day! Come celebrate with us. Join us for “Reading Rocks” at The Child Centre in Sharbot Lake on Friday January 25 between 10:00 and 11 a.m. There will be music and singing, books, musical crafts and more. (For more information contact Jan MacPherson at 613 279-2244.)

Let’s celebrate the love of books, story and song this Family Literacy Day. The party won’t be the same without you!

Susan Ramsay is the Early Literacy Specialist for Hastings, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington. You can contact her at 613-354-6318 (ext 32)

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