Family Literacy in the NorthPresentation Transcript
Family Literacy in the North
Warm-up Activity Stand-up if you: Read to your children Travelled to get here If you are from out of province Are a parent Are a grandparent Want to share a rhyme with us? Are wearing green today Like wild meat Like to dance Have run a family literacy program before Have learned new things at the conference
What do you know about the NWT? Population? Capital of the NWT? Aboriginal population? Languages? Industry? Weather? Communities? Distance from Edmonton? Government? Bugs?
About the NWT Population? 43,439 Capital of the NWT? Yellowknife Aboriginal population? 50% Languages? 11 official languages (9 Aboriginal) Industry? Government and Diamonds used to be Gold Weather? Cold in the winter! Communities? 33 communities – about half are fly-in only Distance from Edmonton? 1600 km Government? Consensus Bugs? Yes!
About the NWT Literacy Council The NWT Literacy Council works with individuals and groups to promote and support literacy and essential skills in all the official languages of the NWT. We are a non-for-profit organization. We have been working with communities for 20 years now… We have been doing family literacy for 13 years… We promote literacy, do training and workshops, develop resources and do research.
Why Family Literacy? Family literacy makes sense in the northern context. Small northern communities are very family orientated. Events need to be family focused. Northern communities have really embraced the concept of family literacy. In some ways it is ‘community literacy’
Family Literacy in the North
Our Approach The NWT Literacy Council promotes and supports family literacy through a community development approach.
What do we mean by community development? Community Development is when community members come together to take action and come up with solutions to common problems. The most important outcome of community development is improved quality of life.
How we got started? Way back in 1997 we started our family literacy project. We asked communities if they were interested in having free workshops and training in family literacy. Some said yes and we started!
Tools for Community Building In 1999 we started a project called Tools for Community Building. This project worked with 4 communities – doing a 3 day workshop on family literacy, project planning and proposal writing. Results varied 2 communities hired family literacy coordinators – still have the position after 9 years…
Family Literacy Training Institute We held our first Family Literacy Training Institute in 2001. Since then we have held over 15 institutes and trained over 500 people in family literacy. The institutes are free and we help pay for people to attend.
What’s involved with the training? We have developed several family literacy programs: Books in the Home 1-2-3 Rhyme With Me Families First: Literacy and Parenting Family Tutoring Bookmaking
Other Training Family Literacy and Aboriginal Language Music and Literacy Talking Books (using PowerPoint) Introduction to Family Literacy Early Childhood Training Storysacks
One Community’s Perspective Mary Ann Vital is from Deline I attended the Family Literacy Training Institute (2001) Since then I have been to many training events and workshops And now I am a presenter at the Council’s training events I have been running family literacy programs on and off for almost 10 years
What programs do I offer in my community? Books in the Home Craft nights Culture and language 1-2-3 Rhyme With Me Family Literacy Nights (using How to Kits)
Successes Lots of participants More reading in homes Children more prepared for school Children are familiar with books Slavey programs Books into people’s homes
Challenges Lack of funding Community support (leaders) Really need a full-time literacy coordinator Not enough time to organize activities (from side of my desk) Getting resources – books, crafts, etc. (everything has to be shipped)
How it has affected my community Children used to go to school with no book knowledge at all – children who attend the family literacy program now have some experience with books and reading… Children are more prepared for school Parents are more comfortable with books Parents are more comfortable going to the school Parents have a better understanding of the importance of learning together as a family
Resources we developed Booklets for Preschool children, in slavey with colors, numbers, shape and different objects Literacy quilt with parents and children. Family booklet in slavey Book bag for the children at preschool Storysacks
Plans for the future More family literacy activities! Try different programs Continue to get more training from the NWT Literacy Council Keep going and keep trying…
NWT Literacy Council Resources We have developed a wealth of resources 50 How-to-Kits Family Literacy programs Family Literacy activities Adult Literacy resources Essential Skills resources CDs for everyone Let’s check it out!
Website You need to check out our website: www.nwt.literacy.ca Most of our resources are online – all you need to do is download and print!