International Literacy Day is celebrated worldwide on September 8th. Did you know 1 in 5, that’s 776 million adults worldwide cant even write their own name or read a sentence in a book? International Literacy Day gives children and communities a chance to rediscover the joys of reading and writing while raising awareness for those without access to education.

What is Literacy and why is literacy so important? Literacy is the ability to read and write coherently and think critically about the written word. Literacy can also include the ability to understand all forms of communication; body language, pictures, or videos. We need to be able to read and write to get through daily tasks, anything from writing a grocery list to reading a newspaper. Literacy is essential to our development.

Here are some activities you can do as a family to help develop and improve literacy skills:

  1. Create a reading corner. The easiest way to promote reading to your children is to create a quiet corner where there are a variety of books readily available and a quiet place to look at them and read on their own or with you.
  2. Take a trip to the Library. Visiting a library together is a great way to promote family literacy activities. Libraries not only offer access to books for all ages and stages but also a variety of topics. The library can also connect you with community literacy activities like storytelling or reading clubs.
  3. Read and Report. Read story together, take turns reading and then discuss the book, ask questions, what was your favourite part? Who was your favourite character? Then work together to complete a Book Report.
  4. Start a family journal. You can have one book for the whole family, or each family member can have their own book. The journal doesn’t have to be strictly for writing, you can use it as a place to collect thoughts, stories, ideas, drawings, and you can even cut and paste items you’ve collected, whatever you want.Check out this link for some ideas and inspiration for your journals
  5. Storytelling. Work together to make up a story of your own. There are so many great ways you can do this:
    • Story Stones: There are a few variations of story stones. Check out this site to get some ideas how to create your own story stones
    • Story in a Bag: Collect items in bags and then take turns making a story about the items you have in your bag
    • Draw a picture: Have children draw a picture and then tell you the story behind the art.

Fun Reading Lists for Kids

Classic Canadian children’s books new and old:

  1. The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier
  2. Grump Bird by Jeremy Tankard
  3. Red is Best by Kathy Stinson
  4. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
  5. Perfect Snow by Barbara Reid

Alphabet Books:

  1. Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier
  2. ABC of Canada by Kim Bellefontaine
  3. Dr.Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book – Dr.Seuss
  4. Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
  5. Animal Alphabet by Alex A. Lluch

 Counting Books:

  1. 123 of Canada by Kim Bellefontaine
  2. My First Numbers: Let’s Get Counting! By DK Publishing
  3. Counting in the Garden by Kim Parker
  4. Counting 1 to 100: Ages 5-7 by Ingram ECE
  5. Baseball Counting Book by Barbara Barbieri

Feelings Books:

  1. Feelings by Aliki
  2. In My Heart: Book of Feelings by Jo Witek and Christine Roussy
  3. The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
  4. The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
  5. F is for Feelings – By Goldie Millar and Lisa Bereger