This year’s Interior Savings Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week takes place from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, in support of Family Literacy Day, which will be marked on Jan. 27.
Activities will take place in Kamloops, Barriere, Clearwater, and Chase.
Fiona Clare, chair of the event’s organizing committee and Literacy in Kamloops outreach co-ordinator, said family literacy is rooted in the belief that parents are their children’s first teacher.
She noted research shows that children who grow up in homes that promote family literacy are better readers and do better in school.
Family literacy is defined as activities at home that help build literacy skills for young children while improving literacy skill development in all members of the family.
The goal of Interior Savings Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week is to raise awareness about the importance of family literacy and the importance of finding a healthy balance between screen time and other beneficial activities needed for healthy living.
“Digital devices have become so much part of the way we work, play, socialize and communicate,” Clare said.
“For most of us, some screen time is essential. But the debate continues as to how much is good for you or bad for you. It’s all about balance. Some screen time is fine, as long as you find time for physical activity, reading, creative play, social time in real time with family and friends and, of course, get enough sleep.”
Literacy in Kamloops and its community partners are offering free activities for families throughout the week at City of Kamloops facilities, the Kamloops YMCA-YWCA, the Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District libraries, and other participating organizations.
This year, these free activities include a scavenger hunt, a nature walk in Riverside Park, swimming, skating, karate, art, belly dancing, yoga and a magic show with Leif David.
More than 7,000 students will try to reduce their recreational screen time by taking the Interior Savings Unplug and Play School Challenge. Youth and adults are also encouraged to try a “digital detox.”
“With a balanced approach, we can shift our behaviours and those of our children to spend more time unplugged and participating in fun activities that help us connect to each other and to our community,” Interior Savings CEO Kathy Conway said.
The week starts off with ABC Family Literacy Day on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., hosted by the Kamloops Early Language and Literacy Initiative at the Henry Grube Education Centre, at 245 Kitchener Cres. at the north end of Overlanders Bridge.
Each child who attends ABC Family Literacy Day will receive a book from last year’s Heap the Honda Children’s Book Drive. This year’s book drive has been postponed until April.
For a full schedule of events, visit any Interior Savings Credit Union branch in Kamloops or go online to literacyinkamloops.ca.