Literacy Week kicks off with event designed to unplug and play

Literacy Now South Okanagan-Similkameen ready to host Literacy Day event on Jan. 23.

Literacy Now coordinator Dannielle Hyde spends some reading time with son Hunter

Literacy Now coordinator Dannielle Hyde spends some reading time with son Hunter

Literacy Week may be from Jan. 23 to 30, but that hasn’t stopped Literacy Now South Okanagan-Similkameen from starting activities early.

On Monday, the first program, called ‘Writing Out Loud’ was launched.  ‘Writing Out Loud’ is a joint initiative between Literacy Now and Okanagan College that will run for four more weeks and encourage adult participants to write freely, improve their literacy and connect with others. The programs that begin this week aren’t limited to just adults, as a one to one reading program is also being offered for all school coordinators and volunteers at elementary schools in School District’s 67 and 53.

“We’re hoping to get people engaged and excited about the new year and new learning opportunities in the community,” Literacy Now co-ordinator Dannielle Hyde said.  “What better way than to kick off the new year in this way to help everyone, not just children but adults as well.”

With several other programs also running in advance of Literacy Week, Hyde is hoping they can engage families and children to set aside electronics.  Hyde noted they started some events prior to the week because want to have people already engaged in literacy-based activities by the time Family Literacy Day rolls around.

The ninth annual Family Literacy Day celebrations will be held at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre on Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will be adding presentations, vendor booths and activities for children throughout the shopping centre.  During the same hours, there will also be a barbecue lunch with the Penticton Secondary School senior girls basketball team at the entrance of Valley First Credit Union and Save on Foods. Proceeds from the barbecue will be going to Literacy Now and the basketball team.

Throughout Literacy Week, there will be one consistent activity every day. A Honda Fit will be open for any new or used books to be placed in it throughout the week. Then, once the week is concluded, all of the donated books will be given to local schools and organizations that can’t find the funds to buy books themselves.

“Literacy skills help people get better jobs and take better care of themselves,” said Hyde.  “It helps in all facets.  Our goal is to let people know about the help that is available in their communities and find ways to provide other needs and services.”

For more info on Family Literacy Day or about the activities in the week leading up to them, visit