14 Dec 2016

“Literacy is Everywhere”

“She surprises me everyday!”

Bree Chartier and her six-year-old daughter make a great team. Up early every morning, they help each other prepare for the day ahead, and after Bree is done work, the mother-daughter pair get through their errands, chores and homework so they can spend some quality time reading and playing together.

“Sometimes we watch a movie or show together, but most evenings are spent talking and playing together,” says Bree.

Bree always knew how important it is to talk with her daughter and share details from their day, but volunteering with READ Saskatoon helped solidify the importance of learning at home. Bree works at Conexus Credit Union, and has volunteered through her workplace at many READ Saskatoon events.

When a co-worker invited Bree to come along to an event, she didn’t know what to expect. But Bree was surprised and inspired by what she experienced.

“I didn’t realize until I volunteered with READ just how much they do,” says Bree. “I have seen the reach of their programming and how it touches the lives of so many families and community members.”

The welcoming environment made Bree feel right at home when she was volunteering, something that helps both volunteers and participants get the most from events.

“It’s so important that everyone feels welcome,” she says. “Every event I’ve volunteered at feels really special. We’re all just learning and having fun together.”

Because of her work with Conexus, Bree recognizes the importance of families having a strong understanding of financial literacy. For her, financial literacy and family literacy are closely tied.

“Literacy is everywhere,” says Bree. “And since basic financial literacy is often not taught in schools, it’s important that this become a big part of the activities families do together.”

Bree’s involvement with READ Saskatoon has taught her a lot about how all-encompassing literacy skills are. It has also opened her eyes to the incredible opportunities available for families here in our city.

“I didn’t know as much about literacy as I thought I did,” says Bree. “You really never stop learning, and READ Saskatoon offers a place for families of all different backgrounds to come together and support each other.”

Bree’s experience as a volunteer has helped to underscore the importance of her role in her daughter’s life. From homework to crafts to just taking time to pause and talk about what’s happening, Bree feels her daughter teaches her so much about learning and experiencing the world.

“It’s amazing to watch your child explore the world with fresh eyes,” says Bree. “She is so perceptive and it’s a wonderful feeling to experience things alongside her.”

One of Bree and Allory’s favourite daily activities is a special calendar that features quotations from inspiring women. They look forward to turning the page each day, reading the quotation together and talking about what it means.

“She might not fully understand the quotation,” says Bree, “but she offers her own perspective and it always makes me think.”

“Our children are always learning, and they really can teach us so much if we take the time to listen.”


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