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Book drive boosts literacy

If you have new or gently used children’s or youth books just sitting around, there’s a chance to share them with the community this weekend.

Literacy Now organizers have challenged the community to fill a Honda Fit with books that will be redistributed to many literacy programs throughout the South Okanagan and the Similkameen. Books can be dropped off at Cherry Lane shopping centre at the third annual Family Literacy Day celebration this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It’s an important part of our community. Literacy impacts everything that we do, and it is so important for families to have a solid foundation in literacy for future success,” said Naomi Ludington, literacy outreach co-ordinator for Literacy Now.

While the national day is celebrated on Jan. 27, Literacy Now arranged for Penticton’s event to occur on the weekend so families can enjoy it together. The national initiative encourages families to spend 15 minutes a day to read or practise a literacy activity together.

According to the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, children raised in literate households are likely to enter Grade 1 with several thousand hours of one-to-one pre-reading experience behind them. This is why Ludington said it is especially important for parents to encourage literacy at an early age and to take time to show children that learning can be fun.

Saturday’s Literacy Day event will have entertainment taking place all day long, including Mingling Magician, Bubblezz the Clown, Twisted Tree Theatre, Penticton Indian Band youth singing group, Princess Margaret Theatre performing from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, storytelling, poetry reading, puppet shows, dancing and more. The shopping centre will be filled with interactive booths with crafts, games and face-painting. Information and resources will also be offered on anything to do with learning and development for children through to seniors.

For more information on Literacy Now visit www.literacynowso-s.ca.

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