Baker-Polito Administration Highlights Celebration of Family Literacy Month’s 20th Anniversary
MALDEN – Having proclaimed November 2016 as Family Literacy Month, the Baker-Polito Administration has throughout November celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Commonwealth’s month-long celebration of the pivotal role that parents and family members play in their children's educational success.
The Department of Early Education and Care, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and their partners in communities across the state have recognized Family Literacy Month by hosting activities that bring families together in support of literacy, lifelong learning and family well-being.
"We are pleased to mark 20 years of the Commonwealth's support of families reading together," said Governor Charlie Baker. "I’m thankful that there have been so many community events and efforts to highlight that parents and other family members can make a big difference in children's literacy and development."
"Across the state there are many locally-available resources for families that help build children’s literacy skills,” said Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber. “Activities that promote literacy development have the power to positively impact a child’s life, as language and reading skills provide the foundation for lifelong learning.”
"I'd like to thank everyone who has supported Family Literacy Month over the last 20 years," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "Reading is a foundational skill for lifelong learning and is something children and family members can enjoy side by side."
Events celebrating the 20th anniversary of Family Literacy Month included:
- Book Club/Story Time: Westwood presented a new parent/child book club focused on using children's literature to enhance social and emotional learning and cultural awareness. Worcester held a story time and book distribution during “Laundry Love” at a local laundromat. Manchester-by-the-Sea provided a story time followed by a Veterans’ Day themed arts and crafts event for parents and children to make card/letters for veterans. The town also created a satellite children’s lending library at the Manchester Historical Museum.
- Book Spotlight/Story Theme: Westwood featured a display in their library of children’s books that depict adoptive families.
- Literacy Fairs: Brockton, Cambridge and Springfield held literacy fairs where children’s books and family literacy materials in multiple languages were distributed to families. Several hundred people attended.
- Multilingual Literacy Events: Martha’s Vineyard provided a seven-part family literacy series for children and families who are English language learners.
- Reading Rewards: Attleboro offered free books for children and families who complete a reading calendar showing the days in November on which they read a book together. Self-Help Community Action provided free books to families who completed literacy-based activities at home with their children.
- Special Guest Readers: Representatives William C. Galvin of Canton and Elizabeth A. Poirier of North Attleboro read to children and families at Self-Help Community Action.
- StoryWalks: Several communities, including Leominster, Sandwich, Somerville and West Springfield, hosted StoryWalks for children and families that displayed pages from a children's book along an outdoor path. Each page guided the reader down a trail, combining the benefits of physical activity, time outdoors in nature, literacy and family time.
- Stretch-A-Story: The communities of Ashfield, Attleboro, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Hawley, Heath, Milford, Plainfield, Quincy and Shelburne used art, songs, games, props and other fun and enriching activities with their storytimes to enhance the literacy experience for children and families.
For more information about family literacy and ways to promote it, visit the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website at http://www.doe.mass.edu/familylit/parents/. The Department of Early Education and Care also has resources to support families with young children on its website at http://www.mass.gov/eec .