Story by Stephanie Cooper
Family Literacy is a national awareness initiative that encourages the importance of reading and learning together as a family. Today, the Ontario Early Years Centre located at the YWCA in Oshawa hosted a Family Literacy Day event where 120 people visited to participate in the activities held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
“The event went really great!” said Lori Eaton, the program coordinator at the Ontario Early Years Centre.
The special reader that attended the event was Joanne Alexander, she is a storyteller and singer that works at the Whitby Public Library. She has been visiting the centre’s Family Literacy Day for the past four years.
“She is very engaging and a wonderful lady, she’s been doing this for the past 33 years and she just loves what she does and you can really tell by the way she presents to families when she’s here,” said Eaton.
Alexander read three or four different books and sang songs along with her auto-harp. And she also has a mouse puppet that she performs with named Beatrice.
In January, the the Ontario Early Years Centre had 105 new families come through to participate in the activities.
“All of our programs are parent-child interactive and there are lots of resources for them, there’s lots of ideas for them to take home to continue the learning at home,” said Eaton.
The non-registered activities include a gym for gross motor development and a drop-in area that has games, reading, crafts and it even houses a pet guinea pig named Gus. Parents can also register for programs that happen throughout the month several times a week. The registered programs of January included benefits of infant massage and teaching children how to cook.
Visiting the centre is beneficial for both children and parents. The children can develop better social skills and learn behavioral skills and parents can interact with each other and get out of the house to mingle and share ideas.
For more information on the Ontario Early Years Centre in Oshawa visit their website.