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For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Contact:JC Considine 781-338-3112

Family Literacy Month Celebrates the Importance of Reading

MALDEN - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education today announced that Governor Deval Patrick has proclaimed November 2011 to be the Commonwealth's 15th annual Family Literacy Month in celebration of the importance of reading and the essential role that parents/guardians and families play in the educational success of their children.

A variety of Family Literacy Month activities are planned across the state throughout the month of November in support and celebration of literacy, lifelong learning and family well-being. Family Literacy Month events will kick-off with the 4th Annual Family Literacy Celebration, supported by the Boston Medical Center and "Reach Out and Read" and hosted by the Boston Children's Museum from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, November 4th.

"An early love of reading is key to a child's development," said Governor Deval Patrick. "We use this celebration each year to recognize the important contributions that families make all year round in helping children develop strong literacy skills."

Governor Patrick is committed to increasing early literacy rates, understanding that literacy is a foundation for learning, and has convened a Joint Departmental Committee comprised of members of the Boards and the Commissioners of Early Education and Care, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Higher Education, along with Education Secretary Paul Reville, to coordinate policy and support to make early literacy a reality for all students.

"Having strong literacy skills is a key to success in all academic subjects, not just English language arts," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "Students who participate in rich reading and literacy activities early in their lives are better positioned for success in school and beyond."

"Literacy starts at home, so we are happy to promote Family Literacy Month as one way to help reinforce lessons learned at school that will help students continue their learning," said Secretary Reville. "An excellent education requires excellent literacy skills and we are all committed to ensuring students have access to instruction that prepares them for success."

Family Literacy Month is sponsored by the Massachusetts Family Literacy Consortium (MFLC), a group comprised of state agencies, community organizations, parents, and providers to expand and strengthen family literacy and support.

Some of the Family Literacy Month events taking place in Massachusetts include:

  • November 4 – The Boston Children's Museum will conduct the 4th Annual Family Literacy Celebration from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester, Early Education and Care Commissioner Sherri Killins and Secretary of Education Paul Reville will each read stories to children and families during this event. There will also be hands-on literacy activities for families, take home resources and literacy materials. Participating agencies include ReadBoston; Jumpstart; Children's Trust Fund; Raising a Reader; Countdown to Kindergarten Boston; Newton Free Library; TERC; Wiggles Press; Kool Smiles; Neighborhood Health Plan; Women, Infants & Children (WIC); Boston Medical Center; and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Office for School Nutrition, Health and Safety.
  • November 5 – Cambridge will hold its 15th Annual Cambridge Family Literacy Fun Day from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cambridge City Hall for all Cambridge families with children in pre-K through grade 5. This free event will include children's activities, free books, Bonaparte the Magician, sing-a-longs, face painting and more.
  • November 5 – Chelsea will hold its 6th Annual Family Literacy Day, called "Chelsea Reads," at the Chelsea Public Library from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Raising a Reader and the Chelsea/Revere Family and Community Network Program have partnered with the library to provide this free event for toddlers and up. The event will include book-based activities, storytellers, face painting, music, games and prizes, as well as special guest Radio Disney. All children under 12 will receive a backpack full of books while supplies last.
  • November 7 – The East Brookfield Public Library will hold a family night with stories, crafts, fun, activities and surprises for the whole family from 6:00 – 7:30. The Theme for November is "Celebrate Family and Thanksgiving".
  • November 10 – The Lawrence Adult Learning Center will hold a family literacy fun day from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. This event will include games, activities, special guests reading to children, music, face painting, a free raffle and refreshments. Every child will get a book and parents will learn about community resources.
  • November 12 – The Holyoke Children's Museum will host "Reading is Power", a free family day of fun and learning from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Adult literacy and early childhood providers, local businesses and other community-based organizations in the greater Holyoke area are partnering to conduct this event that will include free books, hands-on activities for families, carousel rides, take home resources and literacy prizes.
  • November 16 and 17 – Medford will conduct Story Time for children ages 2 to 5 at the Medford Public Library at 10:00 a.m. Families will listen to stories and do simple crafts. On November 17th, parents and children from birth to three will engage in an interactive songfest.
  • November 29 – Haverhill Public Library will conduct a "Mother Goose Meets Mother Nature" event for families with children ages 3-5 at 10:00 a.m. Families will explore environmental science through children's literature and activities.

For more information on family literacy and ways to promote family literacy, learning and involvement, visit the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website at http://www.doe.mass.edu/familylit/month/.



Last Updated: November 3, 2011
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