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Learning can be fun as a family

September is all about back-to-school: Time to get back into routines, make lunches and go to bed early.

September is all about back-to-school: Time to get back into routines, make lunches and go to bed early.

And since there's so much to do and kids are still in summer mode, it's hard to make sure the family is focusing on learning, according to a press release from ABC Life Literacy Canada.

Learning together as a family is vital to a child's future education. Doing family literacy activities not only helps develop children's reading, writing and math skills, it also provides an opportunity for parents to learn something new too. Children raised in literate households are likely to enter Grade 1 with several thousand hours of one-to-one pre-reading experience behind them.

Learning happens in many ways, especially in our day-to-day activities. In honour of September's Life Literacy Month, ABC Life Literacy Canada offers 10 ways to make literacy part of your family's daily life:

When making your grocery list, have your child write out the items you need to buy.

At the store, ask your child to count out the money to make the purchase.

Make it a habit to always read a story together at bedtime.

When cooking dinner, involve your children in measuring the ingredients. This helps them understand fractions and measurements.

Driving is the perfect opportunity to practice literacy. Read signs, billboards and licence plates together, and show your children the proper way to read a map.

While on the Internet, make time to research something new that your family is interested in. Researching skills are important and help with reading and comprehension.

In the car, sing along to songs on the radio. Singing encourages learning patterns of words, rhymes and rhythms, and is strongly connected to language skills.

When playing a board game, read the instructions aloud to each other or count how many spaces to travel around the board.

Involve your kids when you pay bills. This will teach them strong financial skills early on in life.

Children follow by example, so ensure reading is part of your daily life too.

For other literacy tips and activities, visit


If you are 55 years or older, have an interest in helping adults upgrade their English skills and have two hours a week to volunteer with a learner, then Coquitlam Public Library welcomes your application to its Adult Literacy Tutor/Learning Buddy program.

Applications are available on the library's website ( or may be picked up at CPL's Poirier (575 Poirier St.) or City Centre branches (3001 Burlington Dr).

Applicants selected for the tutoring program will attend six hours of training in early October facilitated by instructors from Frontier College. Tutoring will begin the third week of October.

To apply to the program, drop off a completed application form and two completed reference forms to Janice Williams at Coquitlam Public Library or submit them by email to by Sept. 21.

The tutor/learning buddy program is a partnership between the library, Frontier College and Coquitlam Continuing Education, and is supported by proceeds from a New Horizons for Seniors grant. For more information, call Janice at 604-937-4140.