According to the Ohio Literacy Resource Center, family literacy is a term used to describe parents and children, or more generally speaking, adults and children learning together. Sometimes referred to as intergenerational literacy or community literacy, it follows the premise that parents and other familiar adults are children’s first teachers, with learning occurring not only in traditional school settings but in the community as well.
Taking that a step further, family literacy can describe the way parents, family, and community members use literacy at home and in their communities. Literacy activities occur naturally during daily routines as adults and children complete tasks like following a schedule or chore chart. If you’re looking to enhance your family’s literacy habits, planning family meals for the week, making a shopping list, reading a recipe, and measuring out the ingredients to prepare dinner are all wonderful ways to work literacy activities into the daily routine. You can even make a game out of everyday things like reading street signs and cereal boxes, and playing board games is another great way to strengthen literacy as a family. Pick a classic children’s book and read together each day, or check out an audiobook and “read with your ears” while driving around town.
As part of the ongoing Literacy Without Barriers Program, the Neuse Regional Libraries are now offering a series of Family Literacy Kits. The Kits will be released in November, January, March and May. The program is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina. Participants receive a book they can keep to add to their home library along with an activity sheet and supplies to complete the projects. Books and activity sheets are provided in both English and Spanish. Family Literacy Kits will be distributed one book per family while supplies last and can be picked up at the following Neuse Regional Libraries: Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library, La Grange Public Library, Greene County Public Library, Maysville Public Library, Pollocksville Public Library, and Trenton Public Library.
In-person storytimes have also resumed at select Neuse Regional Libraries with the following schedule: Greene County Public Library – Mondays at 10:30 am; Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library – Tuesdays at 10:00 am followed by Countdown to Kindergarten at 10:45 am and Saturdays at 10:00 am; La Grange Public Library – Wednesdays at 10:30 am. For everyone’s safety, all storytime participants are asked to wear a mask. Masks will be provided for those who need one. Caregivers and children will have their temperatures taken when they enter the room, be given hand-sanitizer, and will sit on brightly colored cushions spread throughout the room. All crafts and activities will be completed individually with supplies being cleaned after each use.
For those who prefer to enjoy storytime at home, join Miss Christine on Monday mornings at 10:00 am on the Neuse Regional Library’s Facebook page. Miss Rosina hosts bilingual storytime on Saturdays at 11:00 am on the Pollocksville Public Library’s Facebook page. For more information about family literacy at Neuse Regional Libraries, please call 252-527-7066, Ext. 133.