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Helping Children Develop Strong Literacy Skills

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Helping Children Develop Strong Literacy Skills

McGuinty Government Encouraging Families To Read Together

Ministry of Education

Encouraging children to develop a love of reading at an early age lays the foundation for strong literacy skills, which are crucial for future success.

Parents, caregivers, educators and children are encouraged to participate in Family Literacy Day today. When families read together, they are strengthening their literacy skills, which are essential for success in school, work and life.

Literacy is a key focus of the government's Open Ontario plan to support student achievement, give our students the best possible start and provide them with the tools they need to succeed. This plan is delivering results, including:

  • About 35,000 four- and five-year-olds started full-day kindergarten in September 2010. It will be available in almost 800 schools by September 2011.
  • Ontario's elementary provincial assessment results are up 14 percentage points since 2002-03.
  • Ontario's 15-year-old students are among the top 10 in the world for reading.
  • Ontario has invested nearly $6 billion in education since 2003 and, as of 2009, 79 per cent of students graduate.

Quick Facts

  • Family Literacy Day is organized by ABC Life Literacy Canada and celebrated annually. This year's theme is Play for Literacy. It reminds families that learning through play is an important part of every child's healthy development.
  • Across Ontario, there are 145 Parenting and Family Literacy Centres to help children get a great start on their learning and build a stronger foundation for parent involvement.
  • Reading and telling stories to a child at 18 months are important for brain development in the early years.
  • In a recent study by McKinsey & Company - How the world's most improved school system keeps getting stronger - Ontario's education system was ranked as one of the best.

Additional Resources


“When children see learning as fun they're more likely to want to read and succeed in school. I encourage all parents and caregivers to try to read and learn with their children every day. We all have a responsibility to help our kids get the best start in life.”

Leona Dombrowsky

Minister of Education

Media Contacts



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