Northwest Territories Literacy Council

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Family Literacy Resources

What are family literacy programs?

Family literacy programs provide learning activities and opportunities for parents, caregivers, children and other members of the family.  Some programs that the NWT Literacy Council has developed are:

The 1-2-3 Rhyme with Me program promotes young children’s oral language development through the use of rhymes, songs and stories.  The program is directed at parents and teaches them the skills they need to enhance their children’s oral language development.  Good language development at a young age will help children develop good literacy skills in the future. 

The Books in the Home program is based on the belief that parents are children's first and most important teachers.  In this program, parents learn to read and share books with their children in positive and enjoyable ways.  The program promotes reading and writing of both parents and children.

Family Tutoring is a family literacy program that supports school-aged children to develop reading and writing skills.  The program works with parents, teacher’s assistants, and tutors to strengthen the English literacy skills of the whole family.  Program participants learn reading and writing strategies to support their learner’s reading and writing development.  Family Tutoring works with adults who tutor children at the emerging and early reader stages.  Usually these children are in grades 1 to 4.  Program strategies can also adapt for older children and youth who struggle with reading and writing.

Reading circles encourage parents and other community members to help children become enthusiastic and positive about reading.  In a reading circle, parents, community members and children meet once a week for an hour to share stories and books.  The focus is on discussion, and the enjoyment of families reading and talking together.  The reading circle is informal, and can be easily integrated into existing programs and services for families. 

Special family literacy events that encourage literacy related activities for holidays.  These activities will include: storytelling, sewing, crafts, cooking traditional foods, celebrating holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc.

Other family literacy programs are:

  1. Books and Bannock – Families come together once a week to read and eat bannock.
  2. Story Time on the Radio – Each week someone reads a story on the radio in English and their Aboriginal language.  Families listen to the story together then answer questions to win a prize.
  3. Elders and Children – Elders tell stories to the children at the daycare or school.  They talk about the past and what it was like when they were young.
  4. Traditional Skills – Each week, Elders teach boys and girls traditional skills.  Boys and girls learn to sew, trap, tan hides, make tools and go dogsledding.

There may be a family literacy program in your community that you can attend.  Ask your local school, daycare, family support program or library if they have a family literacy program you can attend.  It is a great way to support your child’s learning and a lot of fun too.

How can I get a family literacy program going in my community?

The NWT Literacy Council can help people or organizations get family literacy programs going in their community.  We travel to communities to give workshops and training and provide free resources.  We also offer family literacy funding for people who have taken our family literacy training.

Return to Family Literacy Program Resources