Families gathered to participate in fun literacy games at last year’s Family Literacy Day event. This year it will be celebrated at the Golden Cinema.

Families gathered to participate in fun literacy games at last year’s Family Literacy Day event. This year it will be celebrated at the Golden Cinema.

Celebrate Family Literacy at the movies with CBAL

Family Literacy Day is coming up, and the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) is celebrating it at the Golden Cinema.

Family Literacy Day is coming up, and the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) is celebrating it at the Golden Cinema.

“Every Jan. 27 for the last 10 years, we’ve been celebrating Family Literacy Day as a nationwide event,” said Monica De, literacy co-ordinator with CBAL.

In the past, CBAL has marked the occasion at either the Rec Plex or the Civic Centre, bringing families together to participate in fun literacy events. But this year they’ve decided to change it up a bit.

“Families are always watching movies and TV shows together, so I wanted to remind them that it could be used as a literacy tool. Talking about the movie throughout, or after, can help improve critical thinking and language skills,” said De.

“The theme this year is ’15 Minutes of Fun.’ So we’re emphasizing the importance of spending just 15 minutes a day with children to improve their literacy skills. Fifteen minutes a day improves children’s literacy skills dramatically.”

De has taken the top 10 kids movies of 2012, and with the help of students at Alexander Park and Lady Grey Elementary Schools she will choose one to screen.

The event is free, thanks to the Golden Cinema donating the space, and there will be prizes and draws for the attendees. The doors open at 3:30 p.m., and the movie will start around 4 p.m.

The movie theatre has 150 seats, and in the past, Family Literacy Day has had more than 200 people participate, so come early to get a seat.

CBAL also has some exciting literacy programs starting in the new year. The One-to-one Reading Program is beginning again on Jan. 28, and De is still looking for some more volunteer tutors.

“It’s not much of a commitment for such a great reward. Literacy is such an important life skill,” she said. Tutors only need to commit one to one and a half hours a week for seven weeks.

There are two new programs coming up, the Guys Read program and the Women’s Journal Writing Group.

Guys Read, for boys in Grades 4 and 5, is at LGES from noon to 1 p.m. every Tuesday, and allows boys to read whatever they want, as long as they’re reading. And the journal writing program takes place at the Golden Women’s Resource Centre every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m., or from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Also brand new this year is the Food Skills for Families program.

“The Food Skills for Families is really great. It’s a six-week program from Jan. 19 to Feb. 23, so it’s coming up quick,” said De. “It includes all the food they’re going to cook. They talk about meal planning, budgeting, discount shopping, food labels. It’s pretty awesome.”

The program takes place for six Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Centre for Peace’s Community Kitchen, and includes free child minding.

For more information on any of these  free programs, or to volunteer, contact De at 250-439-9665.