Return to Headlines

Family Literacy Month: Focus on lifelong learning and ABE


November is Family Literacy Month. Sharing experiences with reading and literacy is important for all ages! In Community Education, we offer Adult Basic Education courses, grandparent/grandchild early childhood classes with a literacy component, and many options in between. Our mission is to serve community members of all ages, from infant to seniors, and enrich their lives through education, enrichment, recreation, and community events. 

Research shows that children in a literacy-rich environment have greater vocabularies, develop important skills needed to focus, empathize and be creative, and can perform better on standardized tests. This benefit does not end when we leave school! Did you know research has shown reading as an adult can lower stress levels and blood pressure, increase connectivity in the brain, and reduce depression symptoms? In community education, we believe that all youth, adults, and seniors benefit from ongoing and lifelong learning!

If you are looking for ways to include literacy in your family, these are a few simple ideas:

  • Create a small space where you live for family members to read. 
  • Have a variety of options for reading - books aren’t the only valuable choice! Magazines and newspapers make great options. Comics are great for those who are more interested in visuals and less words. Even technology (if you can avoid other distractions) provides a great choice with so much free content.
  • Share about new words or a new story you heard today, just like you would share about what you did at work or at school. Look up or share the definition of a new word, and find fun ways to use it in a sentence!
  • Set aside time to read daily - with or without children or younger family members. Reading has been shown to aid in sleep readiness in adults and can be a great bonding time for adults and children before bed. 

For struggling readers or family members who prefer sharing verbally, consider taking time in the evenings to summarize books you have read in the past, make up a new story, or draw pictures of a story you have read before. Also, re-reading books is a great strategy to improve fluency and comprehension of the story. These skills are important in increasing confidence as a reader. 

Sharing these tiny moments make a big impact on all generations, and can improve our cognitive and social emotional skills. Free resources available to all community members include our libraries, online websites with reading strategy support (check out this great ABE resource with access to online books for all reading levels 1-16), or online free read alouds (YouTube carries many free book reads). 

If you are interested in registering for Adult Basic Education and GED classes or any other of our adult and family enrichment courses, please visit our website or call 763-689-6189. New students are accepted anytime throughout the year in ABE and new enrichment classes begin in January.

Christina Thayer Anderson