Early literacy development begins the moment a child is born. Every touch, word and image helps to build the skills needed for children to become lifelong learners. Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed in whatever endeavours they choose and it is every parent’s wish to have their child grow to become a confident and resilient adult. The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) recognizes that parents are the first and most important teachers in a child’s life and demonstrates that commitment by investing resources into community programming across the Columbia Basin.
CBAL reaches across the region, delivering and supporting programs that focus on providing parents and caregivers with the tools and knowledge needed to support their children’s physical, cognitive and social and emotional development.
In Valemount, Play and Learn is offered to families with preschool children. Participants discover ways to support emerging literacy skills through songs, stories, rhymes, sign language, crafts and everyday teaching opportunities, while children engage in facilitated, creative play. The connection a parent has with a child is unmistakeable and programs such as Play and Learn build on that connection to enhance the development of early literacy skills.
By the time a child starts kindergarten, they may know the alphabet, be familiar with the letters in their own names and even have begun to recognize simple words. These skills are key milestones and family literacy programs, such as Parent-Child Mother Goose, Love 2 Learn and Alphabet Soup, aim to help further develop these skills.
Once a child enters school, parents want to be supportive as their children develop and acquire new knowledge and skills. CBAL offers a number of family literacy programs designed to support this specific age group.
In Revelstoke and other communities across the Columbia Basin, Parents as Literacy Supporters (PALS) has been offered in partnership with school districts. “PALS gives families a chance to connect with their Kindergarten teacher, and provides information, ideas, strategies and activities that can be used at home. PALS is a wonderful opportunity to bring together parents, teachers, and community as partners to support young children’s learning,” says Tracy Spannier, community literacy co-ordinator in Revelstoke.
Take time to attend a family literacy program in your community. Visit your local library, family centre or visit www.cbal.org to learn more about family literacy programs in your community.
On Wednesday, October 10, support literacy in your community by taking part in Black Press and CBAL’s Reach-a-Reader campaign. Buy The Valley Echo from a volunteer who will be out on the town and all proceeds raised will go to support literacy programs in your community. By learning together we will grow strong together.