Annual literacy day returning to Comox Valley

Family Literacy Day is Jan. 27 and families across Canada are encouraged to engage in literacy-related activities.

Comox Valley singer and songwriter Helen Austin will perform in Courtenay

Comox Valley singer and songwriter Helen Austin will perform in Courtenay

Family Literacy Day is Jan. 27 and families across Canada are encouraged to engage in literacy-related activities to raise awareness of the importance of literacy and learning.

This is the seventh year that the Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Association (CVLLA) is organizing family literacy activities. CVLLA (formerly Literacy Now) began celebrating in 2008 and each year more families join in the celebration. Danielle Hoogland, the Comox Valley Literacy outreach co-ordinator, says, “We began celebrating Family Literacy Week in 2008 with small storytelling circles. We’ve now expanded those circles to performances with celebrated artists and musicians, activities with community service providers, and events at our public libraries.

“This year we are thrilled to announce that Helen Austin will be kicking off celebrations at the Courtenay library on Jan. 27 with songs from her new children’s CD, Colour Me, and the Juno Award-nominated CD Always Be A Unicorn, which just won a Canadian Folk Music Award!”

Lynn Joseph, who co-ordinates Family Literacy Week on behalf of CVLLA and the Family Literacy Outreach Committee, is looking forward to seeing many families participate in the activities and events throughout the Comox Valley.

“The Family Literacy Week theme is 15 minutes of fun and we are determined that families have much more than 15 minutes of learning fun! Helen Austin will be performing at the Courtenay, Cumberland, and Comox libraries as well as Denman and Hornby Island Community Schools throughout the week.

“Each library will also host storytelling. The libraries will also be gifting families with book bags to take home to continue the fun.

“On Jan. 27 at the Courtenay library there will also be Rhyme Time for little ones to dance, learn rhymes and sing songs with their parents or caregivers. An aboriginal storyteller will weave tales for little ones in the lounge and celebrity readers are bringing their favourite children’s book to read during the morning.

“Furthermore, there will be 15 Minutes of Fun stations throughout the Courtenay library. At each station there will be a different activity for families to play and learn together, like bowling or making a self-portrait.

“The Early Years Aboriginal program, Comox Valley Family Services, StrongStarts (SD 71), Early Childhood Education –BC, Pacific Care and Jump Start, the Child Development Centre, and 4R’s Education Society will have fun, family activities and information.”

Adults will also be able to get information at the Courtenay library from North Island College for upgrading or college courses, Creative Employment Access Society for job readiness or employment, the Adult Learning Centre for tutoring and financial literacy programs and the Immigrant Welcome Centre for information to immigrant families new to the valley.

Volunteer Comox Valley (formerly Valleylinks) has a techie coming to answer your technology questions in the library’s computer area.

The Comox Valley Art Gallery is joining the celebration Jan.27 as well. Between 10 and noon, the gallery will work with families to cut out their favourite art or make their own design to press on a button.

For more information, please visit,, or contact Danielle at Family Literacy Week is supported through Comox Valley Raise-a-Reader and the Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Association.

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Monday, Jan. 27

Courtenay Library

10 a.m. — Doors open (families receive book bags)

In lounge

10:10 — Performer: Helen Austin

10:45 — Celebrity Reader

11 — Rhyme Time with Colleen F. and Carlene

11:40 — Cree Storyteller

12:15 — Celebrity reader

In multi-purpose room

10:45 — Baby and Tot time

“15 minutes of fun” interactive stations (family literacy programs)

  • Child Development Association
  • ECE BC and Pacific Care
  • 4 R’s Education Centre
  • StrongStart SD No. 71
  • Comox Valley Family Services
  • Aboriginal Early Years/ Father’s Network/Friday’s Child
  • VIRL

Adult information

  • 3 Tables: North Island College/ Immigrant Welcome Centre.
  • • Creative Employment Access, Adult Learning Centre, Island Health and CVLLA

• Comox Valley Art Gallery

10 to noon — Button making.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

10 to 11 a.m. at Cumberland Library (distribute book bags)

10:10 to 10:40 — Helen Austin performs

10:45 to 11 — Story Time

Wednesday, Jan. 29

Comox Library (distribute book bags)

10:30 — Helen Austin

11 — Story Time

Saturday, Feb. 1

Black Creek (book bags)

10 a.m. and 1 p.m. — Bobs and Lolo perform ($10 ticket sales).

— Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Association