October 13, 2006
Director, Communications & Public Information
November Declared Family Literacy Month
Recognizing that it is "essential that communities, libraries and schools provide families with opportunities for family literacy and reading activities that encourage families to read with their children and use public libraries", Governor Mitt Romney has declared November 2006 as Massachusetts Family Literacy Month. This annual celebration, sponsored by the Massachusetts Family Literacy Consortium and its member agencies, underscores the importance of strong literacy skills that help each family member be successful in school and in life.
The Massachusetts Family Literacy Consortium (MFLC), a statewide partnership of 14 state agencies including the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), the Department of Education, statewide and community organizations, parents, and other interested parties, is working to integrate and coordinate family literacy and family support for at risk families. Its members provide education, health, employment, and human services and work toward the common purpose of helping families achieve independence and self-sufficiency.
"We know that students do better in school when they are reading, writing, and participating in literacy activities with their families," says Robert C. Maier, MBLC Director. Research shows that students whose parents are full partners in their children's education have higher grades and test scores, better attendance, more motivation, better s elf-esteem, higher graduation rates, and a greater likelihood of pursuing post-secondary education. We also know that families succeed when they receive the important services we provide.
Family Literacy Month is a great way to engage parents in supporting their children's education; to help children toward lifelong learning; and to engage your community partners in organizing a variety of family-centered events. Community groups including schools, libraries, family support programs, social service agencies, businesses and other community partnerships can organize easy, creative, fun, inexpensive, and effective activities for families including: read-a-thons; bookmaking and storytelling projects; numeracy and problem solving activities; providing discounts on books and supplies; and inviting local authors and community leaders to read aloud to children. These events also provide an opportunity to inform families about the services we provide and how to access them.
On Saturday, November 18, 2006 from 10:00-12:00 p.m. the Worcester Public Library will be the focus of a statewide Family Literacy recognition event featuring family events.
The Mass. Family Literacy Consortium Web site has resources that can help:
Governor Romney's 2006 Proclamation of Massachusetts Family Literacy Month
A Guide to Celebrating Massachusetts Family Literacy Month
Family Literacy Public Service Announcements
Every Grownup is a Famous Storyteller
Promoting Social and Emotional Health Through Early Literacy
The Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline
The Especially for Parents page of the U.S. Department of Education Web site
The National Center for Family Literacy Web site
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.