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Helping Children Develop Strong Literacy Skills

McGuinty Government Encouraging Families To Read Together

MARKHAM – Encouraging children to develop a love of reading at an early age lays the foundation for strong literacy skills, which are crucial for future success.

Parents, caregivers, educators and children are encouraged to participate in Family Literacy Day today. When families read together, they are strengthening their literacy skills, which are essential for success in school, work and life.

Literacy is a key focus of the government’s Open Ontario plan to support student achievement, give our students the best possible start and provide them with the tools they need to succeed. This plan is delivering results, including:

  1. About 35,000 four- and five-year-olds started full-day kindergarten in September 2010. It will be available in almost 800 schools by September 2011.
  2. Ontario’s elementary test scores are up 14 percentage points since 2002-03.
  3. Ontario’s 15-year-old students are among the top 10 in the world for reading.
  4. Ontario has invested nearly $6 billion in education since 2003 and now 79 per cent of students graduate.

QUOTES

"Literacy is at the foundation of everything we do and those skills need to be developed early. There are so many fun ways that parents can create more learning opportunities at home — and those opportunities will pay off tremendously in the long run."
– Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville

"When children see learning as fun they’re more likely to want to read and succeed in school. I encourage all parents and caregivers to try to read and learn with their children every day. We all have a responsibility to help our kids get the best start in life."
– Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education

"Strong reading habits at a young age are the single most important indicators of future academic success for children. Parents should use this day to help and encourage their children to find fun and interesting topics that they enjoy learning about and that will help to develop a lifelong love of reading."
– Reza Moridi, MPP Richmond Hill

"Family Literacy Day helps to encourage our youngest Ontarians to find joy in reading and also teaches them a fundamental skill for school, work and life."
– Dr. Helena Jaczek, M.P.P., Oak Ridges-Markham  

QUICK FACTS

  1. Family Literacy Day is organized by ABC Life Literacy Canada and celebrated annually. This year’s theme is Play for Literacy. It reminds families that learning through play is an important part of every child’s healthy development.
  2. Reading and telling stories to a child at 18 months are important for brain development in the early years.
  3. In a recent study by McKinsey & Company – How the world’s most improved school system keeps getting stronger – Ontario’s education system was ranked as one of the best.

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For more information, please contact:

Karen Wilson
Office of Michael Chan, M.P.P.
Markham-Unionville
905-305-1935

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