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Delta libraries collecting family stories to mark Heritage Day festivities

Families can write their stories and share their heritage as part of Family Literacy Day, B.C. Family Day and Canada’s 150th birthday.
North Delta's George Mackie Library.

In celebration of Family Literacy Day on Jan. 27, B.C. Family Day on Feb. 13 and Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, Delta’s libraries invite families to write their stories and share their heritage.

Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually to promote the importance of reading and other literacy-related activities in families.

The Family Stories project encourages families to share their life experiences and/or celebrate their heritage through short 250- to 500-word stories. The library wants to create a montage of stories for Delta’s Heritage Day festivities in April and will be asking permission to record some of the entries, either through audio or video.

All stories submitted will be entered to win draw prizes, which include passes for the Greenheart Canopy TreeWalk at UBC, bowling at Uncle Buck’s at Tsawwassen Mills, Richmond Paintball and Delta Parks and Recreation.

Space will be made available for families to write and submit their stories at the George Mackie, Ladner Pioneer and Tsawwassen libraries on Family Literacy Day (Friday, Jan. 27) and on the Delta School District next non-instructional day (Monday, Jan. 30). Families may also write their stories at home and submit them at their local library on or before Feb. 15.

Family literacy is not just about reading and writing; it’s about developing stronger relationships between parents and their children. It refers to the many ways that families develop and use literacy skills in everyday activities.

Storytelling is an excellent way to stimulate family literacy at home. Not only is it a great way to share family history, it is a way to engage all members of the family, especially those who are currently building literacy skills. Someone can start the story with, “Remember when...?” and then others can add their own memories about a particular family event or special occasion.

Children love to hear their parents or grandparents tell stories about what it was like when they were young. After someone tells a story about an event in their life, a younger member of the family can re-tell it in his or her own words. This activity helps children recall information, build vocabulary and understand that stories have a beginning, middle and end. A fun activity like this strengthens the relationship between adult and child and encourages lifelong learning. If family stories are not passed down from generation to generation, they will be lost.

On Family Literacy Day, turn off the television, get out a pen and paper, and write your story. The Delta libraries look forward to your submissions.

To keep informed about literacy initiatives, “like” the Delta Literacy – Read, Play, Unplug on Facebook.