Every Child! Every Parent! Every Day! Read Aloud 15 Minutes!

Why Read Aloud?

The information below was copied from the Read Aloud website.

There is an easy way to improve your child’s chances at school. It will entertain and delight him. It will strengthen the bonds between him and you. And it is virtually free.

Sound too good to be true? Actually, it isn’t. The magical method: taking time to read aloud to your child.

In an era of high-stakes testing and education reforms and revolutions, research has repeatedly proved that one simple parenting technique is among the most effective. Children who are read aloud to by parents get a head start in language and literacy skills and go to school better prepared.

“Reading aloud to young children, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development and supports the relationship between child and parent,” concludes a review in this month’s Archives of Disease in Childhood.

In other words, reading that bedtime story may not only entertain and soothe Johnny, it may also develop his vocabulary, improve his ability to learn to read, and – perhaps most important – foster a lifelong love of books and reading.

Developing that passion for reading is crucial, according to Jim Trelease, author of the best-seller, “The Read-Aloud Handbook.” “Every time we read to a child, we’re sending a ‘pleasure’ message to the child’s brain,” he writes in the “Handbook.” “You could even call it a commercial, conditioning the child to associate books and print with pleasure.”

This reading “commercial” is critical when competition for a child’s attention is so fierce. Between television, movies, the Internet, video games and myriad after-school activities, the pleasures of sitting down with a book are often overlooked. In addition, negative experiences with reading – whether frustrations in learning to read or tedious “skill and drill” school assignments – can further turn children off from reading.

That can have long-term consequences. As Mr. Trelease succinctly puts it in his handbook, “Students who read the most, read the best, achieve the most, and stay in school the longest. Conversely, those who don’t read much, cannot get better at it.”

Reading aloud is, according to the landmark 1985 report “Becoming a Nation of Readers,” “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.”

Despite this advice, however, some educators and many parents don’t read aloud to children from a young age and thus fail to nurture avid and skilled readers. Indeed, this is especially true for children in low-income families. According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, only 48 percent of families below the poverty level read to their preschoolers each day, compared with 64 percent of families whose incomes were at or above the poverty level. Children from low-income families are also less likely to have exposure to print materials.

The good news for families is that this sage piece of parenting wisdom is easy to follow. Reading aloud to your child requires only a book – free, with a library card – and your willingness to spend a little quality time with your child. And while the sacrifices to read aloud are few, the benefits are many: Your child may learn to read better, think better, imagine more richly, and become a passionate and lifelong reader. More than these long-term benefits, however, are some more immediate: The pleasures of spending time with your child and sharing the enjoyment of a good book.

Repetition

 

Build Community and Creativity – Foothills Cardboard Challenge and #ShareRocks Project

Join us in the Foothills Cardboard Challenge from June to September. Literacy for Life is challenging families in the Foothills to have fun and get creative.

Post a picture of your creation to our FaceBook and/or Instagram

On September 30th 2017, from 12:30 to 3:30 pm  come down to the Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee,  have fun and participate in some creative play. Material will be provided.  We will take pictures and post them to our Instagram and print them to post on our Creativity Board.  You can take your item home and enjoy!

Amazing creativity and an amazing little boy.
Amazing creativity and an amazing little boy.

Watch for upcoming information end of August on our new project #ShareRocks – bring your rocks and paint and brushes will be provided.

Why Participate?

The Global Cardboard Challenge gives children an opportunity to collaborate, learn, and build the things they imagine through a simple process called Creative Play. The Challenge lets children explore their interests and passions; teaches critical thinking, resourcefulness, perseverance, teamwork and other 21st century skills; and brings communities together to foster and celebrate child creativity! (taken from Imagination Foundation website)

Value of Creativity

What is the Global Cardboard Challenge? Check it out!  Make sure you watch the video “Caines Arcade”

Global Cardboard Challenge

 

Nature is a key ingredient for learning!

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Literacy for Life is proud to annouce the piloting of a new program called “Natured Kids”, which will be offered at the  Sheep River Library in Turner Valley, High River Library and Okotoks Library in the fall of 2016. The program will accept families with children aged 3 yrs to 5 years. The focus will be sharing ideas, knowledge and strategies with parents/caregivers on how to create “Natured Kids” and the reasons this is so important for a child’s long term wellness and learning. Long term impact from any program for children happens when their parents and caregivers give them the opportunity, on a daily basis to experience the joy of nature and learning.

Puddles as opportunities
Puddles as opportunities

In the past decade, the benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific research studies and publications. Taken all together this research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature. All of the following positive impacts affect children’s early development and literacy and learning:

Supports multiple development domains: Nature is important to children’s development in every major way—intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically (Kellert, 2005).

Supports creativity and problem solving: Studies of children in schoolyards found that children engage in more creative forms of play in the green areas. They also played more cooperatively (Bell and Dyment,2006). Play in nature is especially important for developing capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and intellectual development (Kellert, 2005).

Enhances cognitive abilities: Proximity to, views of, and daily exposure to natural settings increases children’s ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities (Wells, 2000).

Improves academic performance: Studies in the US show that schools that use outdoor classrooms andother forms of nature-based experiential education support significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math. Students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27% (American Institutes for Research, 2005).

Reduces Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) symptoms: Contact with the natural world can significantly reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder in children as young as five years old (Kuo and Taylor, 2004).

Increases physical activity: Children who experience school grounds with diverse natural settings are more physically active, more aware of nutrition, more civil to one another and more creative (Bell and Dyment, 2006).

Improves nutrition: Children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables (Bell &Dyment, 2008) and to show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition (Waliczek, & Zajicek, 2006). They are also more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives (Morris & Zidenberg-Cherr, 2002).

Improves eyesight: More time spent outdoors is related to reduced rates of nearsightedness, also known as myopia, in children and adolescents (American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011).

Improves social relations: Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play in the out-of-doors (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005).

Improves self-discipline: Access to green spaces, and even a view of green settings, enhances peace, self-control and self-discipline within inner city youth, and particularly in girls (Taylor, Kuo and Sullivan, 2001).

Reduces stress: Green plants and vistas reduce stress among highly stressed children. Locations with greater number of plants, greener views, and access to natural play areas show more significant results. (Wells and Evans, 2003).

What do children want?

 

What is our Story?

Thank you to all the individuals and families that took the time  to share “How Literacy for Life made a difference in their lives?”  Check out the first video in the series.

Thank you also to the Mount Royal Students.  You did a great job!

 There’s a native American saying that goes like this: “It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.” Similarly, it takes all the voices in an organization to tell its story. The most powerful voices are the families and individuals served by Literacy for Life.

We will be asking for people to use their voice to share the work of the organization in a number of different ways and create an ongoing story that will get to the heart of what we do.    we all have a story to tell

Once Upon a Time……..

WE stared a video story a couple years ago through the great work of a volunteer.  This video shares a part of our story.


Literacy for Life Foundation provides programs that focus on the early years.  Our family literacy programs support parents helping them help their children.  That is part of our story.

 

 

#15MinutesofFun Family Literacy Day January 27th 2014

Learning can happen at any time. Check out this video for great ways to share 15 Minutes of Fun with your family:

15 Minutes of Fun – Family Literacy Day

Family literacy refers to the many ways families develop and use literacy skills, from enjoying a storybook together at bedtime and during the day, to playing with word games, singing, writing to a relative or friend, sharing day-to-day tasks such as making a shopping list or using a recipe, and surfing the Internet for fun and interesting sites (Family Literacy in Canada: Profiles of Effective Practices, Adele Thomas, Soleil Publishing Inc., 1998).

Literacy for Life Foundation is gearing up in partnership with libraries, schools and the community in the MD of Foothills to celebrate Family Literacy Day and get the message out that literacy and learning happens everyday.

Spending time doing learning activities at home as a family is crucial.  Practicing these activities will help develop a love of learning for both parents and children, and help to develop important literacy skills.  Studies show beyond dispute that children’s achievements in school improves with increased parent involvement in education.  It’s not hard to practice literacy skills – turn everyday activities into learning experiences!

  • Driving is the perfect opportunity to practice literacy. Read signs billboards and license plates together, and show your children the proper way to read a map.
  • Team up to sort laundry, write a grocery list, or discover a new route to school, you are learning together.
  • Look and tell stories about people in family photos
  • Play a board game together as a family.
  • Cook and bake together.  Share, read and create recipes and then eat together.

Check out the tip sheets for more ideas and activities to use everyday!

ABC-FLD-Kids-Tip-Sheet-EN

ABC-FLD-Adult-Tip-Sheet-EN

If you would like more ideas or support for you and your family connect with Literacy for Life at 403.652.5090, check out our programs at  www.litforlife.com or email info@litforlife.com.  We have programs for parents and preschoolers, school aged children and adults.

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Healthy Eating and Dealing with Stress = Good Learning!

There are many things that impact learning and a few are listed below with resources to help parents, adult learners and children be the best learners they can be.  Life long learning is an essential skill and all people need to pay attention to the many factors that impact their learning, no matter where it happens – home, community, work and school.

One thing that will impact learning is stress and trauma.  The recent flooding in Southern Alberta has created stress in children, families, adults and caregivers. Below are some downloadable coloring books for parents to use with their children.  These resources can be used to open up conversations with children to find out how they are doing and to be used to explain what has happened.  They also help build literacy!!!!

When can we go Home?

After a Disaster – When can we go Home?

Storm Flood Coloring Book – Parent Guide.

Also nutrition and healthy eating are important things to keep in mind when looking at ways to have good learning. Check out Healthy Eating Starts Here website . (recently launched by AHS)  On it you will find current tools and resources to help to build healthy eating environments. This website is for schools, workplaces and child care agencies and includes information and teaching materials on nutrition and healthy food choices. For a full list of school nutrition resources, please visit: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/SchoolsTeachers/if-sch-nfs-school-resource-list.pdf

Fun video about eating healthy