CCS is seeking to replenish our Family Literacy Program Lending Library. You can help by making a donation here.

father-son-299x229“What do kids say when they go door-to-door in their neighbourhood on Halloween?” asks Thanusa Selvaratnam, a Family Literacy Worker with the CCS Language and Skills Development (LINC) Program in Toronto.

Today, the theme is Halloween and the newcomer families attending Family Time are from Syria and Bangladesh.

The Family Literacy Program assists newcomer families develop positive habits around learning language together at home from their earliest days in Canada by delivering group literacy building sessions, parent education workshops, an annual March Break Camp for school-aged children and connecting families with community resources.

A key component of the Program is a lending library that offers a variety of specialized resources tailored to the language level of adult learners and children to support language learning at home.

Parents improve their own literacy skills, and at the same time build the confidence, knowledge, tools and resources needed to empower them in becoming their child’s first teacher as they actively engage in their child’s learning. “When we are stay at home we miss out on all the learning; now I feel I am able to prepare my son for kindergarten,” says Shahana, a participant from Bangladesh.

Program activities include Take Home Book Bags where children are provided with story books and alphabet printing worksheets to complete together with their parent(s); Family Time sessions where parents learn how to engage children when reading books at home, develop writing skills and establish bedtime routines; Parent Education Workshops where newcomer parents are provided with information on how to become more active in their child’s learning in school; and Story Time with the Toronto Public Library where families learn how to choose age-appropriate books for their children and listen to stories, songs and rhymes.

“We have found the program to be inspiring and very beneficial to the participants because we are working with the newcomer families directly as we teach parents how to make every activity and experience a greater learning opportunity for their child,” says Thanusa. “We are creating a space where parents are welcome to share their learning experiences with one another and feel comfortable asking questions about how to teach their children at home.”

The Family Literacy Program is a free service offered at our Scarborough, Brampton and Mississauga locations.  Registration is offered as first priority to newcomer parents attending the LINC program. Available spots are open to newcomer families within the community. Contact our offices for more information.