Reading to children in early life is one of the most important ways to improve language development and contribute to eventual school success. The economic and social costs of low literacy make literacy promotion an important part of preventive pediatric medicine according to the Canadian Pediatric Society.
For the third year, The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) of the MUHC and The Centre for Literacy are planning a celebration for Family Literacy Day.
|When:|| Monday, January 28, 2008, |
between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
|Where:||The Montreal Children’s Hospital, |
2300 Tupper St., 2B area (second floor)
|Activities:||Information booth for parents, book giveaways|
|Special guest:||Marie-Louise Gay, celebrated children’s author-illustrator will read and sign copies of her books in French at 11 a.m. and in English at 1:30 p.m. Livres Babar will sell a selection of Marie-Louise Gay’s books and donate a portion of the proceeds to the hospital project.|
Innovative literacy project
In 2006, the MCH in partnership with The Centre for Literacy launched a unique literacy promotion pilot project that targets all children age 0 to 5 years who visit one of the four pediatric clinics of the hospital. Participating in the pilot project, “Imagine: Lire/Read”, are the following clinics: pediatric consultation, residents’ continuity, multicultural, and neonatal. Families who visit these clinics receive information from health care professionals about the importance of family literacy as well as an age-appropriate book to take home. Currently, these books are available in 19 languages.
Why such a project?
Because of their early and frequent contact with families, pediatricians have a unique opportunity to support parents by encouraging them to read daily to their babies and children. “Peer review studies have shown that when health care professionals discuss literacy development with parents and provide them with tools, such as children’s books, they can influence the family’s attitude toward reading,” says Jan Lariviere, leader of the pilot project. A hospital-based reading program has another benefit.. A project such as the MCH’s promotes the pleasure of reading and helps parents cope while waiting for clinical care and and helps reduce the stress associated with the hospital experience.
Another benefit of this program is to initiate a better balance in the daily activities of today’s family. Parents and children are busier than ever with work, school, sports and digital activities, such as video games, cell phones and computers leaving little, if any, family-oriented ‘downtime’. The ability to read – and the passion for it – is more important than ever as fewer and fewer people say that reading is a regular part of their activities.
Together with The Centre for Literacy, a multidisciplinary team from the MCH’s Child Life Services, Family Resource Library, Volunteer, and Quality Management Services as well as the pediatric medical staff, under the leadership of Jan Lariviere, RN, has spearheaded this pilot project. Funding has been provided by a combination of bursary and award money over the past two years and by the Alva Foundation. The Alva Foundation funds organizations to conduct research and/or develop services that support its philosophy that healthy childhood development establishes many mental, physical, and social attributes that determine the ability to develop into a healthy adult.
Come join us and see how the MCH is taking family literacy to a new level.
The Montreal Children’s Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). The institution is a leader in the care and treatment of sick infants, children, and adolescents from across Quebec. The Montreal Children’s Hospital provides a high level and broad scope of health care services and ultra specialized care in many fields including cardiology and cardiac surgery; neurology and neurosurgery, traumatology, genetic research, psychiatry and child development and musculoskeletal conditions, including orthopedics and rheumatology. Fully bilingual and multicultural, the institution respectfully serves an increasingly diverse community in more than 50 languages.
The Centre for Literacy is committed to supporting and improving literacy practices in schools, the community and the workplace. It is dedicated to increasing public understanding of the changing definition of literacy in a complex society by engaging in research and knowledge sharing activities. Since 1995, The Centre for Literacy has collaborated with the MUHC on Health Literacy research projects and issues and has published two Research Briefs on Health Communications. For more information, please see their website at www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca