|For Immediate Release|
|Friday, November 7, 2014|
|Contact:||Jacqueline Reis, 781-338-3115|
Patrick Administration Proclaims November to be Family Literacy Month
Malden - The Patrick Administration has proclaimed November 2014 to be the Commonwealth's 18th annual Family Literacy Month in recognition of the pivotal role that parents and family members play in their children's educational success.
To celebrate and recognize Family Literacy Month, communities across the state will host activities throughout November to bring families together in support of literacy, lifelong learning and family well-being.
"We must continue to encourage families to support reading and literacy every day, as education is Massachusetts' calling card," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Teaching children the love of reading is opening the door to their future, and we must all get behind these efforts throughout the year."
"Teaching children to read and to love reading creates the foundation for future successes in the classroom," said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. "I encourage all children and parents to find a subject they love and read everything and anything they can."
The Patrick Administration is committed to building children's early literacy skills from pre-K through grade 3 as part of a statewide strategy to enhance program quality across sectors and improve student outcomes. Schools across the Commonwealth are implementing the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The standards reinforce the importance of reading, writing, speaking and listening across all subjects, not just in English class.
"Literacy is part of every subject and everyday life," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I hope parents and other family members will realize how important and fun it is to help students, including the youngest children, practice literacy skills outside of school every day."
"Through their multigenerational reach, family literacy programs play a critical role in the state's effort to close academic achievement gaps and strengthen the workforce," said Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber. "By equipping parents with literacy knowledge, family literacy programs empower parents to support their child's learning and development, which is good for families and our society as a whole."
Family Literacy Month is sponsored by the Massachusetts Family Literacy Consortium, a group of state agencies, community organizations, parents and providers dedicated to expanding and strengthening family literacy and support. Among the activities taking place in November across Massachusetts are the following:
- November 7 (Pittsfield): The Berkshire Museum will hold a WeeMuse Pajama Night of storytelling for infants through 11-year-olds from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Different galleries will feature different stories, storytellers, and activities. Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House series, and her sister, Natalie Pope Boyce, author of the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker series, will be among the special guest readers. In addition to giveaways and refreshments, families will receive free books and tote bags while supplies last. Local artists and children will draw large-scale nighttime scenes inspired by favorite stories, and the evening will end with a PJ DJ Dance Party with DJ BFG and special guest DJ Dulci. This event is presented in partnership with the Pittsfield Transition Team and is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union with additional support from the Berkshire United Way, Guardian Life Insurance Company, and other community partners.
- November 10 (Lawrence): The Lawrence Public Library at 51 Lawrence St. will hold a Family Literacy Fun Evening from 5:00-8:00 p.m. This free event will include guest readers, books, face painting, dance and vocal performances, crafts and games, library tours and cards, classes on healthy eating and financial literacy, information on community resources, and refreshments. This event is sponsored by Community Pathways Lawrence, a partnership of community organizations.
- November 12 (Springfield): The East Forest Park Branch Library at 122 Island Pond Road will host Toto the Tornado Kitty and Jonathan Hall, the author of Toto's books, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Hear Hall read his newest book, "Oh Toto! Where Did You Go?" Children will have the opportunity to ask the author questions and meet Toto. Call (413) 263-6836 for more information.
- November 12 and 26 (Harwich): The Brooks Free Library at 739 Main St. will conduct a Science Storytime from 11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Preschoolers and young children will read a book with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) themes and do a related activity. On Nov. 12, children will explore weather, and on Nov. 26, they will explore static electricity. Call Ann Carpenter at (508) 430-7562 for more information.
- November 18 (Brockton): The Adult Learning Center at 211 Crescent St. will host a Family Fun Event with Pumpernickel Puppets at 6:00 p.m. for children from birth through third grade and their families. A light supper will be provided before the performance. Families will take home children's books, resources and more. This special event is presented by the Brockton Coordinated Family and Community Engagement, the Brockton Adult Learning Center, the Parents' Academy, and the Family Center of Brockton. Reservations are required! Call (508) 580-7491 or emailJoniblock@bpsma.org.
- November 18 (Worcester): The Worcester Public Library will hold a Family Reading Hand-in-Hand evening from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Families are invited to participate in an everlasting story book-making project. Please bring a special dish to share for a family feast. Families are asked to sign up, because space is limited. Please contact Iris Delgado at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 799-1671.
- November 20 (Stoughton): The Helen H. Hansen School at 1800 Central St. is holding a Family Literacy Night from 6:15-7:30 p.m. for all students in kindergarten through 5th grade and their parents. Literacy games and activities will be provided at stations arranged by grade level. Children will receive a free book and a slice of pizza, and there will be a raffle at the end of the evening for prizes including a school supply basket, a Hansen School apparel basket, and a Barnes & Noble gift card. Call (781) 344-7006 for information.
For more information about family literacy and ways to promote it, visit the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website at http://www.doe.mass.edu/familylit/month/announcement.html. The Department of Early Education and Care also has resources to support families with young children at http://www.mass.gov/edu/birth-grade-12/early-education-and-care/parent-and-family-support/.