The Yamaska Literacy Council (YLC) is gearing up to for Family Literacy Day on Jan. 27 with a workshop on financial literacy for families and sharing various literacy resources. Family Literacy Day is a national initiative of ABC Life Literacy Canada, a non-profit organization that aims to provide support to organizations that promote adult learning, and encourages engaging in literacy activities as a family. This year’s event will be taking place under the theme Learning in the Great Outdoors and while the YLC has to go about is activities and services differently, the group is hoping that people will get involved in the event and that those who need help continue to reach out.
“I’m thinking maybe they wanted to get people outside this year and I think with everything going on that they made a wise choice,” said Wendy Seys, executive director of the YLC. “People can do an outdoors scavenger hunt, create a nature journal, learn about winter species, do an obstacle course. ABC Literacy has guides you can use.”
The YLC is coordinating its own activities to mark the occasion with a workshop on financial literacy. “We did it last year and it was really popular. We are doing a financial literacy workshop for parents and it incorporates stories about budgeting saving, and discussing financial matters in a language that is accessible for young kids. We have free tools that we will get to people who have registered for the workshop.”
The group will also be sharing resources on their social media and website for families and groups that are looking to make literacy a part of their routine.
“Literacy Quebec is hosting a bunch of events. ABC Literacy is actually having a demonstration on how to use clay to make a picture with children’s author Barbara Reid,, so we will be sharing information on how to do that. If other organizations want to incorporate family literacy into what they already do, like a daycare or community centre, there is a Quebec literacy tool kit that that we are happy to share with people.”
Seys mentioned that at a time when everything is online, it’s important to make people aware of the activities and tools that exist out there that are off screen. “I think right now people are sort of feeling bogged down with all the online classes and learning feels onerous, but it’s important for families to realize there are fun ways to engage in literacy that aren’t on the screen. People can get outside and still learn and it helps validate that families can teach their kids new skills. There are activities out there that everyone can get involved in.”
They will also be organizing other family literacy activities throughout the school year in partnership with the Eastern Townships School Board (ETSB), like story time and various family workshops.
The YLC wanted to do in person activities, and they just started to do face-to-face tutoring sessions, before the government initiated new Covid-19 measures. “For our adult learners, one of the reasons that they do find success working with us is because they weren’t necessarily able to focus online. They couldn’t pay attention, there are a lot of vision issues, a lot of people don’t have reliable internet or the skills to use it,” explained Seys. “A lot of people are stressed right now and engaging in learning it not at the top of the list; they are in survival mode. There is lot of interruptions to the learning, for kids and for adults, and we will see the impacts.”
For now, the group is focusing on getting their services out there the best they possibly can, including its On the Road initiative which supports the transition of adults back into the adult education system. “I need to know how to book my Covid appointment, how to download my passport information, what my benefits are, what do to do if I get sick, and people need literacy skills to get that information. That’s really the focus right now.”
To register for the financial literacy workshop: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Family Literacy Day and/or to learn about literacy services: