Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

January 27, 2010 09:00 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates Family Literacy Day

Canada's Economic Action Plan invests in skills development

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2010) - Improving literacy skills is essential to building stronger futures for Canadian families and strengthening our communities, said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today in marking Family Literacy Day.

"Family literacy helps children achieve in school, and it enables their parents to get jobs and build better futures for themselves and their families," said Minister Finley. "That is why our government is investing in skills development, so Canadians have the opportunity to achieve and contribute to their communities and families' well-being."

In recognition of Family Literacy Day, Minister Finley announced $823,000 for three adult learning projects in Ontario:

- La Coalition ontarienne de formation des adultes will deliver two programs that will raise awareness of the benefits of family literacy among fathers and prepare them to get more involved in literacy activities within their families. The project will also provide literacy practitioners with the knowledge and tools they need to support family literacy.

- The Ontario Literacy Coalition will develop an approach that will provide effective support for family literacy programming in Ontario. To achieve this objective, it will partner with other learning and literacy stakeholders and ensure that the products and results obtained are shared broadly for the benefit of a greater number of adult learners.

- Kingston Literacy will administer a program that will provide new Canadians with tools to improve their literacy and essential skills. It will develop and pilot multicultural resource kits for parents and will make them available online and at community libraries, as well as to other interested agencies.

Created by ABC CANADA and Honda Canada in 1999, Family Literacy Day increases awareness of the importance of family literacy through a number of events and activities across the country.

"Family Literacy Day is a great way to rally Canadian communities and help raise awareness of the benefits of adults and children learning together," said Ms. Margaret Eaton, President, ABC CANADA. "Literacy is more than reading and writing. Literacy can be practised by spending just 15 minutes of family time a day to read, play a board game, sing or follow a recipe together."

For more information on these activities and to integrate literacy into your family activities, visit the ABC CANADA Web site at, the Federation canadienne pour l'alphabetisation en francais Web site at and the National Adult Literacy Database Events Bulletin Board Web site at

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Please visit Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's Web site at


Literacy and essential skills are the foundation for lifelong learning. They play a vital role in the development of healthy families, vibrant communities and a prosperous economy.

Acquiring these important skills begins at home: parents are children's first teachers. Research shows that children have a better chance of becoming fully literate adults if reading is encouraged in the home. In addition to reading and writing, individuals can sharpen their literacy skills through many activities, including playing a game, following a recipe and making a shopping list.

Children and parents both benefit from family literacy. Adults with low literacy and essential skills improve their own skills when they read and write with their children. Families' quality of life, including income levels and employment status, is directly related to the literacy levels of parents.

In Canada, literacy and essential skills programs and activities are supported by the federal, provincial and territorial governments and by a variety of businesses and voluntary organizations.

Supporting Canadians' literacy and essential skills is a key part of the Government's commitment to help foster a highly skilled, adaptable and competitive workforce. Canada's Economic Action Plan underscores this commitment by investing $1.9 billion in skills development to create more opportunities for Canadians.

The Government of Canada works collaboratively with partners to ensure that Canadians have the literacy and essential skills they need to participate fully in the labour market and in their communities. In this context, the Government of Canada is investing $36 million in 2009-2010 through the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills.

For more information on the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills and to learn about projects that have been funded since 2006, visit the Office's new Web site at

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office