The Region provides a wide range of important services to Halton residents to support a high-quality of health and wellbeing. Offering our residents easy access to the services they need is a high priority – this includes access to supports for literacy.
Literacy is an important part of a healthy community and together with our community partners, Halton Region is working to connect those at risk with the programs and supports they need to be successful. On January 27, we celebrate National Family Literacy Day to raise awareness about the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said, “Literacy is the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.” Strong literacy skills can provide the foundation for life-long education, rewarding employment and financial security.
Halton Region supports community literacy in a number of ways, including:
- co-sponsorship of the annual “For the Love of Literacy” reading conference in partnership with the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, local public libraries and youth organizations;
- ongoing support for the Celebrating Stories Family Festival, which showcases the books, illustrations and story-telling abilities of current and emerging Canadian talent;
- promotion of the EvenStart summer program, which assists children to make a positive transition into kindergarten; and
- HaltonParents printable reading resources for parents, as well as blogs about family literacy ideas and resources for engaging children and teens.
Spending just 15 minutes each day reading with your child is important for their growing brain – no matter what their age. It is an activity where both parents and children can have some relaxed time to reconnect.
There are excellent supports in our community that can help build adult literacy as well. If you know an English-speaking adult who needs support with essential literacy skills, refer them to the various Halton Literacy Councils offering classes and tutoring in your community. For newcomers to Canada, HMC Connections (formerly the Halton Multicultural Council) offers free English language instruction, as well as enhanced business language training designed to help newcomers with a profession or trade to improve their English skills in order to enter the job market.
We will continue to prioritize literacy to ensure that every resident has the essential skills needed to reach their full potential and lead healthy and happy lives. This is another important effort in helping to ensure that Halton Region remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.
As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.