Canadians sing for literacy

TORONTO, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - Families and communities from coast to coast to coast will be celebrating reading and learning together on and around January 27, 2010, for Family Literacy Day, ministers Diane McGifford and Margaret MacDiarmid announced today on behalf of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).

"Family Literacy Day offers an opportunity for families across Canada to take part in community events and activities to celebrate the joys of reading and learning together," said Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Education and Minister responsible for Early Learning and Literacy for British Columbia, CMEC's lead province for literacy. "With this year's 'Sing for Literacy' theme, families can also strengthen language skills by singing and having fun together. By practising literacy skills at home, we are investing in our children's future and preparing a strong basis for a lifetime of learning."

Established in 1999 by the ABC Canada Literacy Foundation, Family Literacy Day is an annual initiative to celebrate parents and children reading and learning together, and to encourage Canadians to spend at least 15 minutes enjoying a learning activity every day. This year, more than 300,000 Canadians are expected to participate in Family Literacy Day events, which include pyjama-party readings, storytelling circles, treasure hunts, and campfire singalongs.

In their joint declaration Learn Canada 2020, Canada's education ministers identified raising literacy levels as one of their key priorities. By supporting initiatives such as Family Literacy Day, ministers of education are raising awareness about the importance of reading and learning at home, as well as drawing attention to local literacy resources and organizations that are working to improve literacy.

"We know that introducing fun and active reading activities when children are young fosters an interest in reading," said Diane McGifford, Chair of CMEC and Manitoba's Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy and Minister responsible for International Education. "Engaged parents, grandparents, and caregivers are key to sustaining this interest, which, in turn, promotes success in school."

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary-secondary and advanced education from each province and territory. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern. For more information, visit our Web site.

SOURCE Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

For further information: For further information: Gyula Kovacs, Coordinator, Communications, Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, Tel.: (416) 962-8100, ext. 241, Cell.: (416) 804-6548, E-mail: g.kovacs@cmec.ca

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