Thursday, January 28, 2010

Family Literacy Day Celebrations

Family Literacy Day takes place every year on January 27. ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation and Honda Canada created the day in 1999 to encourage families to read and learn together. This year we supported events in public housing communities.

In the afternoon, we partnered to hold a musical Family Literacy Day drop-in for Crescent Valley families. The event was held at the Crescent Valley Resource Centre in partnership with them and their neighbourhood library committee.

Forty-seven people dropped in to participate. ABC Canada Family Literacy promotional items were given away during this event. A wall of possibilities was posted so families could help us shop for new library books.

As well, QLNB provided a bag full of books for all ages as a prize, and people earned ballots by shopping, singing a song or borrowing a library book. Hey, look! There's another ballot going in now!

Jaylin, who sang up a storm with her friends and mom (top photo), won the bag for her family.

That evening, we partnered with the provincial Department of Social Development to celebrate Family Literacy Day in the Crown Street area public housing neighbourhood. In keeping with the Family Literacy Day song and music theme, we had a Karaoke party. Residents promoted the event using ABC Canada Family Literacy Day posters as well as word of mouth.

About 60 teens, adults and older adults came out, and we had a great time! There were some snacks, lots of karaoke. (There's Wendell singing about how even "squares" can have a ball!) QLNB also supplied a bag full of books - board books through to popular adult reads - for a free draw, won by... Linda! Yay!

Both of these events were part of our on-going work to build capacity in neighbourhoods and help communities find way to support and help one another.

Happy Family Literacy Day, everyone!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Winter Libraries Project

The Greater Saint John Community Foundation and the Department of Social Development have given financial support for Quality Learning NB to scaffold three North End communities in creating and/or maintaining small community libraries.

Residents in these communities have expressed an interest in continues borrowing and/or a desire to have a local neighbourhood library. This project grew out of community interest in having accessible books.

At the Crescent Valley Resource Centre, QLNB was asked to assist in creating a small self-serve community library that sees about 25 units of service per month. We assisted with shelves and books for start up.

At this point the library needs help with forming and maintaining a library group who takes care of the library and purchases books regularly.

On Anglin Drive, involvement with a Storytent program in 2009 put us in contact with a resident who has been creating space for books and borrowing at the Anglin Drive Tenant’s Association Office.

This resident has expressed the need for help obtaining shelves and for information about running a community library: “I’ve been trying to find shelves, and I am so glad something is now going to happen. I can’t do it all by myself.”

In the Old North End, a resident involved with the ONE Change group has indicated, “I’ve wanted to do [a library] for almost two years now.”

Families who borrowed from the Old North End Storytent in 2009 held the expectation at the end of the project that they could continue borrowing, and informal borrowing has been happening at the ONE Change office with limited resources. This project began on November 1, 2009 and will end on May 29, 2010 (30 weeks).

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2004 Storytent Research Online

Now available online: Quality Storytents 2004: Revisiting using choice theory to support reading through a community literacy project.

This paper documents the results of efforts to replicate research from 2003 in a 2004 storytent program which ran in a Public Housing Neighbourhood in Saint John, New Brunswick. The research component examined the impact of the program on the frequency of reading in children's lives, on their own reading levels, and on their perceptions about reading and themselves as readers. As well, this year, we researched the impact of our method of delivery on social interaction.

For more on this and other QLNB research documents, see Research.