Community-based literacy organizations will receive a total of $100,000 in grants to promote family literacy across the province. The grants were announced today, Jan. 28, during the Department of Education’s Family Literacy Day celebrations in Bass River, Colchester Co.
“Helping parents and other family members have a more active role in children’s learning is the focus of family literacy,” said acting Education Minister Angus MacIsaac. “Family literacy initiatives encourage all family members to work together. Parents and caregivers receive support to improve their own skills so they can better support their children.”
Grants were announced for 13 family literacy organizations under the Family Learning Initiative Endowment Fund, established by the Halifax Youth Foundation, the Department of Education and other partners in 1999. The Department of Education supports the foundation by co-ordinating the proposal review and monitoring projects.
“All of these organizations have presented innovative program ideas to encourage parents and children to read together and to make learning a fun activity at home,” said Hugh Smith, president of the Halifax Youth Foundation. “We look forward to seeing the results of these programs, as more parents feel comfortable taking an active role in their child’s learning.”
The organizations receiving funding are:
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— Annapolis Valley-Hants Community Action Program for Children, Kentville, $5,130;
— Community Learning Association North of Smokey, Ingonish, Victoria Co., $15,792;
— Cape Breton Literacy Network, Sydney, $4,760;
— Centre provincial de ressources p dagogiques, UniversitÃ© Sainte-Anne, Pointe-de-l’Ã‰glise, Digby Co., $9,500;
— Eastern Shore Family Resource Association, Musquodoboit Harbour, Halifax Co., $10,000;
— Fairview United Church, Halifax, $5,000;
— Family Matters – Annapolis County Family Resource Centre, Bridgetown, $4,000;
— Institute for Human Services Education, Truro $4,856;
— Maggie’s Place – A Resource Centre for Families – Cumberland, Amherst, $5,130;
— Maggie’s Place – A Resource Centre for Families – Colchester, Truro, $4,824;
— Musquodoboit Valley Family Resource Centre, Middle Musquodoboit, Halifax Co., $5,000;
— Pictou Continuous Learning Association, Pictou, $13,800;
— South Shore Family Resource Association, Shelburne, $12,208.
Maggie’s Place in Truro is using its grant to train parent and caregiver volunteers to act as play group facilitators. These volunteers will lead reading circles as part of Maggie’s Place Parent ‘n’ Tot play groups, which target children under the age of five and their parents or caregivers in areas surrounding Truro.
“This grant has enabled us to start recruiting and training volunteers to help us reach more children with specific programming that suits their age and interests,” said Jocelyn Hominick, child development facilitator with Maggie’s Place. “So far we’ve been able to train five or six parents and caregivers to lead reading circles.”
Family literacy is an inter-generational approach to education that fosters learning and literacy within the family. Examples of family literacy programs include reading circles for parents or caregivers and children, adult literacy programs that focus on the adult as a parent, and workshops for parents and caregivers on how to support their children’s educational development.
The Family Learning Initiative Endowment Fund now totals more than $3 million.