Prevention is Crucial
My name is Kayla Schneider. I am the Family Literacy Coordinator at READ Saskatoon. I started my work here in July 2018 after making the move to Saskatoon. After many years working in intervention practises, I decided to focus my energy on prevention. What better prevention strategy than literacy education? I feel so fortunate to work with an organization who understands the value and importance of building skills with the entire family.
Reading has been, and always will be, an important piece of my life. I admit I had taken my literacy skills for granted and was fortunate that my family supported my reading journey every step of the way. We carved out special reading times throughout the day and my mom always had a hard time saying no if I requested a new book.
Not everyone has literacy support. 1/3 Saskatchewan residents struggle with literacy in their everyday lives. Some parents may not be able to share that bedtime story with their child or help them with their school assignments. Family engagement in children’s learning is proven to have an overall positive impact on the child’s academic achievement in school. A parent/caregiver is a child’s first and most important teacher, and we at READ Saskatoon are here to support parents to give their child the gift of early literacy.
We provide a fun and engaging environment to support literacy development for families. My greatest fulfilment is when a family can use what they learned at our program in their home, “This program has made our family sit and read. My son can sit for longer and is even listening better then he used to. We left our books in Nigeria and you gave us our first book since moving to Canada" (Parent, Romp ‘n’ READ, 2018). I want families to realize reading isn’t always sitting down with a book. It is hearing new words, turning the pages, looking at pictures, and building those important family bonds that encourage a child’s interest in learning.
I am so excited to have the opportunity to expand our family literacy programs. This year, we will be adding a numeracy program as well as branching out to serve more communities across the province. So, watch for that and join us for our programs with your 2-5 year olds.