FREDERICTON (CNB) – Families and communities are being encouraged by the provincial government to showcase the benefits of reading and promote literacy throughout New Brunswick today in support of National Family Literacy Day.

"As New Brunswickers, we have a responsibility to value reading and acknowledge its importance in every child's development," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Jody Carr. "The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is taking steps to do things more efficiently, free up resources and focus efforts where they will have the most impact – with our children."

The department supports literacy through initiatives such as Born to read / Le goût de lire. This program provides new parents with books through foundation, organization and individual donations along with one baby book written by a New Brunswick author. It also acts as one of the first building blocks in preparing New Brunswick children for success and lifelong learning.

Research shows that from conception to age five, children engage in cognitive, language, social, emotional, physical and motor learning and development that significantly affects them as they grow. Parents are their child's first teachers and have a great deal of influence on improving the reading and writing skills of all family members.

During elementary and secondary school years, children develop the skills they need to make a successful transition to adulthood. Post-secondary education offers widespread benefits to individuals, including higher wages, job satisfaction, fewer periods of unemployment, improved health and quality of life.

"Lifelong learning happens at all ages and stages of life,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Martine Coulombe. “Post-secondary education is the cornerstone of a skilled workforce. I encourage New Brunswickers to celebrate National Family Literacy Day by visiting their local library to enjoy the events that have been planned."

Carr and Coulombe thanked the early childcare sector, Born to read / Le goût de lire committee members, school districts, schools, public libraries, communities and other organizations for their many positive initiatives to promote reading.

Family Literacy Day, launched by ABC Life Literacy Canada, has been a national initiative in Canada for 13 years. It is held each Jan. 27 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

LINKS:

●    ABC Life Literacy Canada: http://abclifeliteracy.ca
●    Born to Read New Brunswick: www.borntoreadnb.com
●    Coalition francophone: Le goût de lire: www.legoutdelire.ca (French only)