It’s November and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is celebrating National Family Literacy month! 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). It’s no secret that reading is beneficial for children, and families reading together is a huge indicator for schooling success. But what you may not know are the many ways you can improve literacy by involving the whole family! Check out these ten activities, programs and resources available at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to support your family literacy (Note: they are available all year, not just in November!).
- Check out our curated reading lists by grade level and place books on hold to pick up at your local branch location! All Library locations are now open with expanded services, meaning your family can visit the Library to browse and check out books in person too.
- Utilize our digital e-book resources (hoopla, NC Kids Digital Library and OverDrive to name a few) to read on a screen with distant family members in a video chat session. (We do this daily through our Reading Buddies program.)
- Create pictures or puppets to bring stories you have read to life! Involving the whole family in retelling stories helps children understand how stories are developed and understand character responses.
- Visit five parks in Mecklenburg County and enjoy a StoryWalk ®. StoryWalks® are opportunities for children and families to enjoy two great things - reading and outdoor spaces - at the same time. A StoryWalk® is literally taking apart a picture book, placing each laminated page in a weather-protected frame, and placing these frames in an outdoor space so that children and families can enjoy books in an outdoor setting. Get the whole family involved with special questions that are placed along the path for you to discuss as well!
- Utilize Active Reading to keep your reader engaged and to improve language, comprehension and vocabulary skills. Not sure how to use the practice of Active Reading? Sign up to take an Active Reading Training today.
- Text is all around if you look for it – on items of mail, newspaper articles, road signs, board game directions and more! Have younger readers go on a letter hunt for specific letters or letter sounds and invite older readers to read the text aloud and discuss the author’s purpose for writing the text.
- Use recipes for a tasty family literacy activity! Read recipes with your child and practice following directions as you complete each step. Check out these family recipe books if you need inspiration.
- Round up the whole family and participate in a virtual program with our Charlotte Mecklenburg Library staff! Story Explorers, Storytimes, and more are available on the calendar each week for you to register and receive a Zoom link to participate.
- Remember, literacy does not only involve reading, but also writing! Write a story about a special event that happened in your family or interview a family member about something that happened in the past and record responses. You may even want to create a family journal where the family can respond in writing to each other!
- We’ve saved the best for last! You are invited to Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s inaugural Virtual Family Literacy Night on November 17, 2020 at 6 p.m. The whole family will enjoy singing, dancing, puppeteers and a few literacy tips along the way. All children that attend will receive a free coupon for a book and Frosty from Wendy’s! Sign up and learn with us.
Great literacy practices begin at home. When children see a parent or caregiver reading and writing, they are more inclined to place importance in reading and writing as well. We invite you to make Charlotte Mecklenburg Library an extended member of your family as we champion family literacy!