Last Tuesday (Jan. 27) was national Family Literacy Day at Donald Young School in Emo.
Family Literacy Day was created by the ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation and Honda Canada back in 1999 to promote the importance of reading and learning together as a family all year-round.
Every year on Jan. 27, families and communities across Canada celebrate this special day at literacy-themed events co-ordinated by literacy organizations, schools, public libraries, and families.
The activity-packed day at DYS began at 11:15 a.m. with the opening number of Act 1 from the school’s upcoming musical, “Seussical the Musical,” presented by Katherine Williams and the appropriate cast members.
Staff, students, parents, and members of the community showed their appreciation by giving the enthusiastic entertainers a warm round of applause.
Following their performance, the entire cast encouraged the audience to participate by teaching them their words and music to the song, “Green Eggs and Ham.”
This year’s school musical will run the week of Feb. 23.
Following the assembly, students returned to their classrooms, where volunteer “Royal Readers” read to the students from JK-Grade 5.
The guest readers included Emo Reeve Ed Carlson, Laura Horton (Seven Generations PSE director), OPP Cst. Anne McCoy, Diane Carlson (RRDSB literacy co-ordinator), Kathy Smeeth (RRDSB math co-ordinator), Sylvia Parker (RRDSB Effective School Leader), Heather Campbell (RRDSB Superintendent), and as well as DYS parents Frances Flook, Conrad Dueck, Paul Koomans, and John Paul Winik.
The senior students spent the rest of the morning taking part in Scrabble and Quiddler tournaments. They also had a chance to visit the book fair in the gym.
The school, as a part of its literacy day, hosted a McNally Robinson book fair for the first time in DYS history. A wide variety of books were supplied by the Winnipeg store.
The Family Literacy team would like to thank the community and school board members for participating as “Royal Readers,” and for their support in making Donald Young School’s Family Literacy Day such a success.
In the 1991 Carnegie Foundation report, “Ready to Learn: A mandate for the nation,” teachers reported that 35 percent of kindergarten children were not ready for school. The area in which children were reported to be most lacking was in literacy and language skills.
With that in mind, family literacy has become an important focus of boards of education across North America. Reading aloud with children probably is the single-most important activity for building early literacy skills and understanding in pre-school age children.
As Dr. Seuss himself said, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”