Ten Ways to Celebrate National Family Literacy Day

National Family Literacy Day began in 1994 as a way to promote reading, writing and literacy as a family-wide activity and responsibility. Since then, countless schools, libraries and literacy groups have marked the day with advocacy, awareness and of course, the call to celebrate reading, writing and literacy together!

More than just raising a reader, National Family Literacy Day shines a spotlight on how families can work together to increase literacy rates, instill a love of literacy and combat poverty, low graduation rates and job insecurity due to literacy challenges through community and grassroots initiatives.

So on November 1, join together with families across North America and take part in an activity that celebrates a love of literacy together. Here are ten easy ways your family can participate!

  1. Visit the library

Perhaps the simplest way to support community literacy initiatives is to support your local library! Discover all the ways your library rocks, and if you haven’t already, make this the time to get—and use—your library card.


  1. Organize a book exchange

Shelves overflowing? Ready to part with a few titles? Chances are, you know others in the same position. Why not host a family book exchange, where half a dozen families come together for a swap?


  1. Donate the books your children have outgrown

And once you’ve drawn your book exchange to a close (or if you want to forgo that step altogether), donate the books your family has outgrown, to a local school, church, daycare or other nonprofit organization.


  1. Write a letter

Practice active literacy by rediscovering the fine art of letter writing! Find a pen pal, write to a teacher, drop a line to a relative or start letters to Santa early. Emails are fine, too.


  1. Host a family game night

There is no better way to instill a love of learning than by making it a part of a family fun night. Games like Scrabble, Boggle, Bananagrams and Scattergories are all easily adjusted for age and literacy rates.


  1. Construct a Little Free Library

Become the steward of a Little Free Library and give your community access to a fun, free way to share books! Take a look at this article for more information.


  1. Create some word art

Work on a collage, a poster or family art piece together using words as your medium! There are tons of ideas on line, like these ones from Pinterest.




  1. Make a donation

Donating to a not-for-profit literacy group, a library, school or other community resource is a great way for a family to give back on National Family Literacy Day while supporting others in the work they are doing.


  1. Join a book club

Whether you join an in-person or online group, a book club is a fantastic way to share a love of reading and discover new books together. And if you can’t find the perfect book club, why not start your own family book club?

  1. Read together!

Of course, there is no simpler way to celebrate National Family Literacy Day than to enjoy reading time as a family. Whether you SEAR (Stop Everything and Read) different books, read one together out loud or listen to an audiobook together, sharing a love of reading is always a great idea.

Take a look at these five books that the whole family can enjoy together!


How will you be celebrating National Family Literacy Day? Let us know in the comments!

    Karen Green

    Karen Green is a freelance writer and big city ex-pat now living in rural Ontario. She writes for numerous print and online publications, and considers her library card to be one of her most valuable possessions.

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