Imagine a young family shopping at the grocery store. A young mother picks fruit and vegetables and talks to her child about juicy red apples and crunchy orange carrots. They count the items and recall the times they tried sour lemons. They move to another department and check the food label on the cereal for the sugar content. The mother talks to her child using descriptive language and engages her child in genuine conversation. They communicate, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. They are engaged in family literacy.

According to Project READ, family literacy is defined as the practice of parents actively helping themselves and their children to become lifelong learners through a wide variety of daily activities. Family life provides many opportunities for family literacy activities. They can happen:

  • Anytime: during daily routines, meals, quiet and active times, play and special events.
  • Anywhere: in the playroom, at the playground, in the park, in the gym, in the tinker lab, on the go, in a wagon, visiting friends in the other rooms.
  • Anyhow: talking, playing, singing, rhyming, reading, exploring the environment, writing, painting, scribbling.

An important part of Terra’s work is to encourage literacy learning, and support parents and children in developing:

  • a love of literacy
  • a conviction that literacy is essential to navigating everyday living
  • an understanding that literacy enhances our quality of life.

Literacy for Living Program Offerings

Terra offers a multi-session Literacy for Living program, supporting a continuum of learning or as a single learning activity paired with other events or programs offered by Terra.

Prenatal and parenting teen families including young dads with children can participate in this program. The main goal of the program is to promote the value and benefits of literacy for the whole family and encourage families to become lifelong learners. The program contains discussions, hands-on activities, singing, rhyming, reading books and having meals together as a group. At each session, families receive gifted books to build their home libraries. One of the important components of the program is sharing Indigenous knowledge and culture with participants, engaging them in storytelling and cultural crafts.

For Winter/Spring 2020 this program will run in two locations:

Braemar School, Session 1
  • Time: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Day of the week: Thursdays
  • Dates: February 13, 20 and 27, March 5, 12 and 19, April 2, 9 and 16, 2020.
Brentwood House, Session 2
  • Time: 5 – 7 p.m.
  • Day of the week: Wednesdays
  • Dates: March 4, 11, 18 and 25, April 1 and 8, 2020
Brentwood House, Session 3
  • Time: 5 – 7 p.m.
  • Day of the week: Wednesdays
  • Dates: May 6, 13, 20 and 27, June 3 and 10, 2020.

To get involved

To register for the Braemar School Literacy for Living session, contact Nataliya Fladager,

RSVP details for the Brentwood sessions will be available soon! Check back.