September is Literacy Month
City of Camrose Coun. Wayne Throndson, Mayor Norm Mayer, Camrose Public Library Children’s programmer Nicole Bannick, Garry Zetsen and Coun. Greg Wood present the library with cheques totalling $2,000 to help fund their Snacks in the Stacks program. Each of the four men have pledged to donate $500 a year for as long as the program is around. Snacks in the Stacks helps feed children who arrive at the library for after school programming but with empty stomachs. Snacks in the Stacks provides a healthy snack for every child that visits the library after school every day from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., averaging 30 a day from January to June this year. Submitted
September is International Literacy Month — a world-wide annual celebration that brings together governments, organizations, NGOs, private sectors, communities, teachers, learners and, of course, libraries. It is an occasion to mark global literacy achievements and reflect on ways to counter remaining challenges for the promotion of literacy as an integral part of lifelong learning.
While global youth literacy rates have increased from 75 per cent to 90 per cent in the last 50 years, there are still 758 million illiterate adults around the world (UNESCO Institute for Statistics). In Canada, 48 per cent of adults have inadequate literacy skills, according to The Conference Board of Canada. Indeed, literacy skills are much more than being able to read, they are “the ability to understand, evaluate, use, and engage with written texts to participate in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.” As the Conference Board of Canada explains, this requires “accessing, identifying, and processing information from a variety of texts that relate to a range of settings.”
Adequate literacy skills can have profound social and economic consequences. For example, individuals with inadequate literacy skills are more likely to report poor health, to be less politically engaged, and to be more socially isolated. Contrastingly, those with comprehensive literacy skills are more likely to get, and keep a job, according to The Conference Board of Canada.
Libraries are a central community hub that supports life-long literacy skills. Libraries are committed to providing free and equitable access to information for all. They assist in finding, using and interpreting appropriate information that opens up opportunities for life-long learning, literacy enhancement, informed citizenship, recreation, creative imagination, individual research, critical thinking, and ultimately, empowerment in an increasingly complex world.
On Sept. 12, we invite you to join us in celebration of World Literacy Month!
We will be hosting a day of fun events in partnership with Sahakarini, an international NGO that works locally in response to global challenges. Our regular daytime literacy programs — Books and Bounces, Tales for Twos and Threes and Concept Corner — will have a special international theme, with help from Sahakarini. In the evening, parents, caregivers and anyone interested in early childhood development are invited to “Raising a Reader: How to Give Your Child A Leg Up For a Lifetime of Learning Success.” Professor of psychology at the University of Alberta-Augustana, Paula Marentette will give a short presentation followed by a Q&A discussion on how you can prepare and support children for the important task of learning to read.
If you are curious about how learning to read can change your brain and how that can contribute to future learning success, then this is one talk you don’t want to miss. This free event will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and refreshments will be provided.
Can’t make it on the 12th? September is also Library Card sign up month. For the entire month of September, we are offering free library cards to everyone in the city and county. You can sign up in person at the library or online at: http://cpl.prl.ab.ca/services/get-a-library-card. We also recognize that Libraries and local businesses make for wonderful partnerships, and here are a few reasons why:
• Children who develop a love of reading are more likely to mature into engaged citizens.
• Engaged citizens invest in their community by shopping locally and contributing to a healthy workforce.
• Lifelong learning has a direct impact on the economic and social wellness of a community.
As a result of this partnership, when you show your library card at select local businesses throughout the month of September, you’ll get some pretty sweet deals. You can see the full list of participating businesses on our website.
For more information about International Literacy Month, the Raising a Reader event or Library Card Sign-Up Month, please contact the library at 780-672-4214.
Carley Angelstad is the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Camrose Public Library. Her love of reading is rivalled only by her passion for tea, travel, and of course, Harry Potter.