Family Literacy Month

Family Literacy Month, celebrated every November, marks a time to address parent and child literacy and recognize the fundamental role of family involvement in lifelong learning. The National Children’s Museum (NCM) actively supports family literacy programs and celebrates the opportunity to bring family literacy values to your home. The Museum is excited to present A Celebration of Children’s Literature: The White House on the Waterfront, November 13 and 14, at the NCM Launch Zone at National Harbor, designed to promote literacy and education among children and families in the Washington, DC region. Nationally award-winning children’s book authors will present readings from the anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out and facilitate discussion and fun activities related to our government and the White House, past and present. The event is free, but advance registration is required. To learn more and sign up, visit http://www.ncm.museum/register .

Family Literacy Month champions countless benefits. Here are just a few:

Higher standards for achievement. Children and parents alike will not settle for anything less than success and economic self-sufficiency. Literacy reduces unemployment and poverty.

Elevated self-esteem. Family members feel capable with a valued skill set. Self-esteem evokes assertiveness and confidence.

Awareness of one’s rights. Feelings of empowerment lead to social and political participation.   

Improved health. Reading proficiency prompts better healthcare education.

Strengthened family connections. Spending time together fosters healthy family relationships and opens lines of communication.

Ready to support family literacy?

Read a book and then talk. Just plain talk is great. Children learn language and new vocabulary from hearing and using language. After a good book, a child may say, “Read it again!” Not only is this normal, it is the way children learn to adopt new language as their own.

Incorporate art activities. Many children’s book illustrations are easily replicated using recycled materials and other interesting and inexpensive items. Families can explore the artwork of children’s books and the illustrator’s technique to create art that is unique and reflects a personal creative vision.

Initiate book making. From journals to pop-up books, we recommend making books and encouraging children to create their own stories — writing about themselves and illustrating the world around them.

Bring stories to life. Entire families can get into costume and act out a scene from a favorite children’s book. Dress-up allows children to relate to messages in the stories they read.

Integrate music into story times. Movement and music helps developing young brains make connections to reading. Families can make and play their own instruments, discover music from the past, dance, and share the music that they love!

The Museum recently released Family Literacy Projects on a Budget: A Trainers’ Toolkit http://www.amazon.com/Family-Literacy-Projects-Budget-Trainers/dp/0981844006/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1 , a publication that provides educators and families with affordable resources and activities designed to foster literacy at school and in the home.

About WF Staff

Washington FAMILY Staff

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