Family Literacy Day Bilingual in Prince Rupert

Brittany Webster

Held annually on January 27th, Family Literacy Day began in 1999 as a national awareness initiative to share the importance of reading and literacy, and Prince Rupert's Public Library is celebrating the 20th anniversary in a new way.

Chief Librarian Joe Zelwietro says literacy can enhance one's quality of life, and is important for daily tasks like reading medication bottles and paying bills.

"It's such a basic human need. It is very difficult for people who are not literate to find employment, they have the highest unemployment rate. It's very difficult for them to address their financial needs, their spiritual needs. Because reading is such a basic fundamental requirement for our social life that without it it's a very poor existence."

So what makes this year different? Well, the library has partnered with AFFNO's Sugar Shack Festival to make literacy day bilingual in Prince Rupert.

In an equal combination of French and English, Sunday's show will consist of Anne Glover telling stories with her string creations and French Canadian music duo Vazzy.

Although Zelwietro himself prefers to read, he says there are many other ways to engage in literacy activities and the weekend's guests are good examples.

"One way is storytelling. Another way is having someone, yourself or another partner, read to the children. Just that close interaction gives both people a good feeling and helps them feel stronger in the literacy capacity. And storytelling will especially be pertinent this weekend when we have our guest here."

The event begins at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon and is free for the whole family.

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