“Travel the World Together”

Reading to Grandparents

There’s nothing like a warm drink and a good book on a cold day! Even better is sharing that book with a loved one. January 27th, 2021 marks the 22nd annual Family Literacy Day. The goal of FLD is to increase awareness on the benefits of reading and the importance of families coming together to engage in literacy related activities. This year’s theme is “Travel the World Together”. Staying close to home during the pandemic gives us the perfect opportunity to connect with loved ones using the complimentary Family Literacy Day 2021 resources that are made available to everyone. Checkout the link at https://abclifeliteracy.ca/all-programs/family-literacy-day/

Another excellent local literacy resource to those of all ages is the Central Okanagan Society’s - Project Literacy. One of their featured programs aids seniors in Technological Literacy. This helps them learn how to effectively use computers, mobile devices, email, and social media, as well as educating them on spam and fraud awareness and virus protection. Project Literacy also offers programs in family and financial literacy as well as English and math tutoring. https://projectliteracy.ca/programs/online-teaching-resources/

There are so many ways in which reading plays an important role in our health and wellbeing. Not just mentally but also physically! According to an article published on Healthline.com reading helps to:

  • Strengthen the brain - Brain scans have shown evidence that reading increases brain connectivity. Both while reading and days afterward

  • Develops empathy - Reading fictional books develops the ability to understand the feelings and beliefs of others

  • Builds your vocabulary - Has proven to help develop “soft skills” and the ability to communicate effectively through exposure to new words

  • Prevents age-related cognitive decline - seniors who read and solve math problems daily have shown to have a reduction in memory and cognitive functioning

  • Helps sleep - Doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend reading as a part of your bedtime routine. However, they recommend reading a print book, not on screens, as screens can agitate the nervous system and keep you awake

  • Reduces stress and anxiety - 30 minutes of reading a day can help to lower blood-pressure, heart rate and feelings of psychological distress

  • Alleviates symptoms of depression - Reading fictional books can offer a temporary escape from the challenging feelings associated with depression. Nonfiction “self-improvement" books can aid in strategies to help manage symptoms

  • Helps you live longer - Those who read live an average of 2 years longer, the same study also concluded that those who read more than 3 ½ hours per week were 23% more likely to live longer than those who don’t read at all

A lover of books, I was excited when recently our twin's classroom teacher sent them home with a project to explore their family heritage. Our daughter reached out to her Grandparents for some information, and they were so happy to pull out their old genealogy books to share the documented information on our family's journey from Europe to Canada many years ago. They also came across some beautiful family crests to share with the children. We felt grateful for these books and the author who took the time to gather, write and preserve this moment in time. After so many years, these books provided a meaningful way for the children to connect deeply with their grandparents from across the country!

“Reading gives us
someplace to go when
we have to stay
where we are.”

-Mason Cooley

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