This blog post was written by Elyse Berrier, library program coordinator for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
National Family Literacy month is recognized each November, and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library plans to celebrate with a systemwide, in-person, “Out of this World” Family Literacy Night on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 from 5-7 p.m. Families are invited to visit any Library location (no registration necessary) to participate in self-directed family literacy activities that the whole family will enjoy and be invited to take home. Play literacy games, check out books, read and write together, and learn more about why family literacy is extremely important! Every Library location will also be hosting a giveaway drawing and other fun surprises that you are not going to want to miss!
While we are celebrating with this “stellar” event on November 30th, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library always strives to provide opportunities and education around families learning together every day all throughout the year. Here are five ways we encourage families to improve literacy together:
READ OFTEN AND ALOUD AS A FAMILY: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are read to have better language skills, have more interest in reading, and have better nurturing relationships with their parental figures (AAP, 2014). Make it a habit to read as often as you can as a family. Visit our physical Library locations to check out books, or read books electronically together! Browse one of our digital book resources, and spend time reading together as a family.
WRITE FREQUENTLY: The practice of writing aids in fine motor skills, self-expression, and language development. There are many ways to practice writing as a family at home. Start a family journal, where family members write back and forth to one another, or simply send notes and letters to each other! Seek inspiration from our storytellers at the Library to write your own story together as a family. Drawing counts too! Feel free to write a book review as well together as a family and add it to our catalog for others to enjoy!
TALK TOGETHER: Talking about books and what is going on in your child’s life will help to improve your child’s language and vocabulary skills. Cognitive scientists from MIT found that conversation between an adult and a child can actually change and enhance a child’s brain physiology (Association of American Universities, 2018)! Active Reading, or the practice of reading aloud a children’s picture book by asking questions, building vocabulary, and making connections to the child’s world and experiences, is a wonderful way to talk together as a family. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library provides Active Reading Family Workshops and Active Reading Training programs to help you and your family have meaningful conversations about books together.
LEARN AS A FAMILY: There are many ways to learn together as a family at the Library. Programs are available daily that you can attend together as a family including storytimes, story explorer programs, puppet shows, and more! Check out books and discuss what you learn together as a family and share it with others. Books with step-by-step instructions can teach your family a new recipe, craft, or activity to enjoy, while improving literacy skills.
SPREAD THE JOY OF LITERACY: According to the Handbook of Family Literacy, family literacy refers to the spoken and written communication within a family, as well as the family’s efforts to improve and support a child’s literacy and language development (Van Horn, 2012). When parents, caregivers, and adults in a child’s life share their enthusiasm for literacy, a child’s attitude and perception about literacy improves as well. Allow the children around you to see adults reading, writing, talking, and learning, and they will follow suit!
We look forward to your family making great use of all that Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has to offer! Read often and aloud as a family, write frequently, talk together, learn as a family, and spread the joy of literacy.