Family Literacy Week 2021 is a little different this year and it’s not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc with the normal celebration of literacy.
Besides COVID-19 making this year’s version of the annual event notable, Family Literacy Week in Campbell River is also celebrating its 15th anniversary. So no pandemic is going to stop the community celebrating it this year. It just takes a little re-adjusting.
This year’s event is a coming together of three themes. One is the national theme for Family Literacy and that is “Travel the World Together.” The second theme is the B.C. theme and that is “Let’s Be Active.” The third theme is a “we’re nearly a year into the pandemic and we’re all going a little stir-crazy, so let’s get outside and have some fun.”
Underlying all of this, of course, is the importance of family literacy itself. The week is designed to encourage families to spend quality time together around literacy, says Kat Eddy, one of the Family Literacy Week organizers.
“It’s really to celebrate families and their role as their child’s first and best teacher,” Eddy says.
Parents don’t realize how important they are in their child’s learning, Eddy adds. Family Literacy Week gives them an opportunity to talk to their children and to let parents know they’re doing the right thing by having conversations with their kid.
And in case everybody social distancing at home is running out of things to read and talk about, Family Literacy Week is giving them something to talk about and get out of the house. That’s where the two themes come in.
“The Travel the World theme is super fun because it gives you a chance to talk about countries that maybe you’d like to see or like to visit or to research,” Eddy says. “It really encourages families to have conversations about other cultures; about other parts of the world.”
The Let’s Be Active theme comes into play with two scavenger hunts that will provide an opportunity to get out of the house and visit some businesses downtown. Instead of the free swims and that kind of stuff that make up a normal Family Literacy Week, organizers have partnered with the City of Campbell River’s Parks, Recreation and Culture department and with the Downtown Business Improvement Association.
“What we’ve created is two scavenger hunts,” Eddy says.
The first scavenger hunt is in downtown Campbell River along Shopper’s Row and in Tyee Plaza where businesses have each picked their own countries and in their windows, they will be displaying a word.
Because this is a Travel the World theme, participants will have a passport that they take along to the various businesses and fill in the store’s identity and the country they’ve chosen.
“So, it’s an exciting way to get people to come out and enjoy our our beautiful downtown,” Eddy says.
The second scavenger hunt involves the parks throughout the City of Campbell River.
A map has been created with all of the city’s parks. Six of those parks have been selected to hide the ever-popular Waldo of Where’s Waldo? fame. Families are asked to find Waldo and when they do find six Waldos, they mark it in their passport.
Of course, there are prizes for those who fill in their passports both downtown and in the parks.
All you have to do is take your passports to Banners Restaurant and drop them into a box to be eligible for a fun family package.
But that’s not all, also part of Family Literacy Week is a free livestream hosted by the Tidemark Theatre on Wednesday, Jan. 27. See page 18 for details on that concert.
Family Literacy Week runs from Sunday, Jan. 24 to Saturday, Jan. 30 and you can participate in the scavenger hunts any time you want on those days.
All you have to do is pick up a passport which you can get at a drive-through event being held at the Campbell River Sportsplex on Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first 100 families to come by will get a full scavenger hunt kit. That kit will have have a notebook, a laminated park map, a schedule of events and some giveaways.
Once the first 100 are given away, then the information will still be available for anybody else who wants to participate.
For information about all of the Family Literacy Week activities, visit the Campbell River Literacy Association Facebook and Instagram pages. You can contact the organizers through those pages if you have any questions.