Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

January 27, 2011 09:00 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates Family Literacy Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2011) - 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.

"This year's theme—Play for Literacy—seems so simple, but it really sets the stage for a lifetime of learning," said Minister Finley. "Strong literacy and essential skills are so important for children's success at school and adults' success at work. That is why our government is investing in skills development and proudly joining Canadians in celebrating Family Literacy Day." 

In recognition of this day, Minister Finley announced $713,656 for two family literacy projects:

  • The Service d'orientation et formation des adultes de l'Association franco-yukonnaise will help parents strengthen their own literacy and essential skills and support their children's developing skills, in order to build a stronger community. In addition, this project will improve access to literacy services for official language minority communities.
  • The Fédération canadienne pour l'alphabétisation en français will coordinate the establishment of pilot projects that will provide the tools and resources to support family literacy development in minority language communities in several provinces and territories.

Created by ABC Life Literacy 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 Life Literacy Canada. "The positive impact of spending 15 minutes a day engaged in a learning activity as a family is evident for years to come. Increasing our literacy skills is good for families, for workplaces and for our prosperity as a nation."

For more information on Family Literacy Day and to find out how to integrate literacy into your family activities, visit ABC Life Literacy Canada's website at, the website of the Fédération canadienne pour l'alphabétisation en français at and the National Adult Literacy Database Events Bulletin Board website at

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


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. Increasingly, adults use play-centred activities to keep their mental skills sharp and growing. Engaging in play-centred activities such as board games, card games and self-created games are all fun ways parents can improve their literacy skills, along with those of their children.

Children and parents both benefit from family literacy. The quality of life of families, 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 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 of Canada's commitment to help foster a highly skilled, adaptable and competitive workforce. 

The Government works 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 over $38 million in 2010–2011 through the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills.

For more information on the Office and to learn about projects that have been funded since 2006, visit the following website:

Contact Information

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