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?

 

Programs, Busy Bees and so Much More!

Family Literacy Day – January 27th to February 27th.  – Play our Family Literacy Bingo Card

Starts January 27th.  1 card per family. Cards can be picked up at Literacy for Life Foundation Office, Okotoks Library, High River Library and Sheep River Library. They also will be handed out to all Grade 3 children in the schools.  Complete all the activities, fill out the back and hand in to your closest location.  All completed bingo cards will be entered into a draw for a Telus Spark Gift Certificate, Boston Pizza Gift Certificate and 3 Board Games.  Each library will draw for a prize. (3 separate prizes)  Please note the dates for the draw at each location as they vary.

Family Literacy Activities to try!! Play and have fun!

Program Registration

December 5th 2016.  Call the office at 403.652.5090 or register online at www.litforlife.com

Raffle Tickets:

The draw for our 2016 raffle was held on December 14th.  Darcy Blanchard from Okotoks was the lucky winner.  He will recieve $5,000.00 in Air Canada Gift Cards.  Thank you to everyone for supporting our raffle.  Watch for the 2017 raffle starting March 2017.

 

Wonderful Cards for sale:

We still have our cards for sale at #3 1204 – 10th St. SE, High River, Alberta.  Available during work days from Monday to Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Do you need Greeting Cards?  NorthplusSouth, an Okotoks business, donated some wonderful good quality cards for our use.  Only $1.00 a card.  Choose from Christmas, Thank you, Birthdays, Anniversary and much, much more.

Conversation, Chocolate, Cookies and Cards
Conversation, Chocolate, Cookies and Cards

 

Little Libraries:  Community Reads

If you are interested in having a “Community Reads” box on your property contact Sue at s.stegmeier@litforlife.com. We have started a list of people who are interested in their own little library. It was first come first served and presently have a wait list.

Highwood HighSchool Industrial Arts class has agreed to make our libraries as a school project. We are excited to partner with the young people at that school.  They will start construction in January.

All those that have indicated they wanted a library will be invited to a work bee to paint and decorate their library.  Once they are painted the individuals/families can take them home and set them up on their property.  Help will be provided to install if needed.  It will be the responsibility of the owner of the “Community Reads” box to maintain the books and the library.

Some boxes will also be set up on public property.  A map will be made showing where all Community Read boxes are located. The map will be available on our website as well as Our High River, Town of High River and other appropriate locations.

More information to follow.

Preserving Memories – Technology, Seniors and Youth

If anyone is interested in becoming a mentor for seniors to learn more about technology or to get help to preserve memories to digital contact the High River Library at 403.652.2917. Training will be provided for mentors to learn about the new technology and some tips on working with the senior population.

This project is a partnership between Literacy for Life Foundation, High River Library, Bow Valley College and McBride Career Services.

As seniors begin to downsize their homes and have to move into care or a smaller home, there is often limited space for many of their memories and items that give quality of life, such as records, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, photographs, slides and negatives. A portion of the funds would be used to purchase equipment that would be housed at the library to transcribe these memories to a digital format.  The second part of the project is providing volunteer mentors to help support the senior’s learning. (Partially funded by the New Horizon Federal Grant).

Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee – October 1st 2016 at the Wales Theatre. 

Watch for information in February 2017.  The 5th Annual Bee will be held on September 30th 2017.

The 4th Annual Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee held on October 1st 2016 at the historic Wales Theatre was a success. Raised: $26,225.00 

Gratest Spellers – Big Rockies, Town of Okotoks

Gratest Pledges Raised – Wild Roses

2nd Gratest Pledges Raised – Tie – The Kaliedoscopes and the Super Bees

3rd Gratest Pledges Raised – The Business Babes

Gratest Costumes – The Kaliedoscopes

 

Check out the 2015 video. Thank you Meagan and Christina for volunteering your time to create this GRATE video.

 

Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee
Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee

Time to Register – March 9th 2015

Literacy for Life offers a wide range of programs for families and adults. Check out our Parent/Child Pre-School Programs, School Aged Programs and Adult ProgramsOnline registration or call the office at 403.652.5090 starting March 9th 2015 for Spring Registration.

Our programs are free or low-cost and are open to all residents of the Municipal District of Foothills #31 in Alberta, Canada. Part of our service to the community is to provide information and resources for parents and agencies.  Visit our FaceBook and Pinterest for current information and resources

Literacy and learning are keys to success in life. It is never too late to make a difference in our learning. Literacy for Life programs provide a way for adults to seek out and engage in lifelong learning opportunities in the community – for themselves and their family. These programs help build the nine essential skills needed for work, family and community.

dad-reading-with-two-children

“It is important to affect an individual’s literacy development early, but as literacy and learning are a lifetime process, it is never too late and never too early.”

CTV video demonstrating the importance of the early years.

Peace, Joy and Love

We wish peace, joy and love to you and your family during this coming Christmas season. As Literacy for life Foundation comes to the end of another successful year of supporting local families and individuals, We want to thank those who have contributed to our success, as well as, ask if you will help us once again. If you haven’t had the opportunity to support this worthwhile cause than this is the perfect time to show those around you how much you care. For those who are hard to buy for, consider making a donation in honor of them or in memory of someone special as a gift this season. In return, your donation will be recognized with a charitable donation receipt for yourself and a very big thank you!  Your support has made things happen!  Over 800 families received a Books for Babies Bag.  Over 400 families attended Rhythm and Rhyme and Toddler Time.  Did you know that a child who knows eight rhymes by the time they are four years old will lead their non-rhyming peers in reading and writing by the time they are in Grade 4?  Adults recieved help in getting their GED which helped them keep their employment, get better employment or move on in their schooling.  Newcomers to our country received help with their English as well as learning ways to become Canadians. It’s the gift that gives twice: once to your loved ones or friends and once to families and individuals in your community.  

Give the Gift of Literacy!  Literacy is woven through out the community and makes it a happy healthy place to be.

Making a donation is simple.  Go to our website at www.litforlife and click on the DONATE NOW button and then click on Charity Gift cards on the right side.  You can also download a form and mail at http://www.litforlife.com/support/donate.htm.