Parents are our children’s first teachers, and our job does not end when our children start school. There is clear evidence that shows that children who come from homes where parents read to their children and take an active interest in their homework are more likely to develop the strong literacy skills which are the foundation for learning for the rest of their lives.
Publish IT! Bookmaking program
The vehicle for VCLA’s family literacy programming is the Publish IT! Bookmaking Program. Using family photographs and original text, VCLA’s family literacy coordinator works to help families in Kings and Annapolis Counties to create books that become lasting mementoes of family vacations, birth stories, family histories, or creative writing projects. VCLA maintains an online library of these books for those families who wish to share their stories with a wider audience.
Bookmaking is often just the beginning of involvement with VCLA’s programs. For many parents, the first time they hear about VCLA’s upgrading programs is when they sit down with the family literacy coordinator to work on their book together with their children. This often leads to a referral to the GED program, the Adult Learning Program, or tutoring.
There are numerous ways to write a book. VCLA attends every pre-primary registration day held in elementary schools in Kings and Annapolis Counties. VCLA also attends the three-year old screening clinics held in area elementary schools. At both days we offer parents the opportunity to make a book.
VCLA also offers professional development for public school teachers who are interested in engaging parents in their children’s learning. In past years our school-based projects have led to the creation of several printing presses at schools in the Annapolis Valley, including Swingset Press at Cambridge Elementary School (2007), Grapevine Press at Gaspereau Valley Elementary School (2008), Riverside Press at Lawrencetown Elementary School (2009), Mud Creek Press at Wolfville Elementary School (2010) and Oak Island Press at L.E. Shaw Elementary School in Avonport (2011).
Finally, parents can write a book by calling the office at 1-866-898-7323 and making an appointment to sit down with the family literacy coordinator.