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The Heroes of 2020
Family Literacy Day takes place every January 27th . The goal is to raise awareness about the importance of reading and engaging in literacy-related activities as a family. Since 1999, thousands of schools, libraries and other community groups have taken part in the initiative.
Teachers do an amazing job, but not all the learning can take place in a classroom. Did you know that children spend five times as much time outside the classroom as they do in school? You can see how vital it is that parents and caregivers get involved too.
In 2010, the National Institute of Health found that a mother’s reading skill is the greatest factor to affect her children’s future academic success; outweighing other factors like neighbourhood and family income.
I love to read, and I can’t thank my mom enough for that. I learned to love books in a wooden trough. At milking time, mom would bundle my sister and me up, pack a few books, and off we went to the barn. One of mom's many chores was to feed the little calves. While she waited for dad to milk the cows, mom would read to us. When the milk was ready, mom would put down the book and feed the hungry babies: it probably only took a few minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. I couldn’t wait for mom to come back – I couldn’t wait to learn to read!
Reading took me places I knew I would never get the chance to visit; it introduced me to people I would never meet. That brings me to a little story I would love to share with you, and the timing could not be more perfect.
A few days ago, I got a call from Dena Cantle. Dena's mother-in-law, Madge, lives at the Birches Nursing Home in Musquodoboit Harbour. In a few short months, Madge will celebrate quite a milestone: she will turn 101. Dena called to tell me that Madge is a longtime fan who used to watch me on TV and now stays connected through the Chronicle Herald.
On Madge’s request, Dena clips my daily columns out of the newspapers and takes them with her when she visits. Dena then kindly reads them to her mother-in-law.
That Monday morning phone conversation with Dena made my day. I can’t think of a more appropriate story on this Family Literacy Day.
Remember, words matter, people matter, and kindness is the bridge.
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network