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Moose Jaw Express February 13, 2019

Celebrate Family Day

 “The best inheritance parents can give to their children is a few minutes of their time each day.” This is a worthwhile thought to ponder as we approach the Family Day holiday. Raising a family has always required a lot of effort, and it becomes more so in our busy lives as we try to balance work and family time.

Our government recognizes that supporting families is key to our future. The most obvious support to families is our public education system. The Ministry of Education is committed to improving the learning success and well-being of all Saskatchewan children and youth, and the enhancement of family literacy.

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week, from February 10th to 16th this year, happens annually the week prior to Family Day in Saskatchewan. First and foremost, Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week highlights the invaluable work of education professionals. It also brings to mind the shared responsibility of school staff and parents in promoting literacy and educating our children.

Family Literacy Day last month raised awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in literacy-related activities as a family. Family participation in building literacy skills leads to greater involvement and success at school and work, and in the community, benefitting all of Saskatchewan. The government supports literacy development by funding eight family literacy hubs across the province and 20 summer literacy camps every year. The family literacy hubs are a provincial network of eight organizations that work with community organizations locally to identify family literacy needs and develop programming.

Indigenous peoples used the tradition of storytelling for educating youth. We have much to learn from this valuable custom. Storytelling is one of the oldest traditions in some indigenous cultures, which is why the provincial government proclaims February each year as Aboriginal Storytelling month. For 15 years, libraries, schools and organizations across Saskatchewan have been hosting Aboriginal Storytelling events throughout the month of February. The 2019 Aboriginal Storytelling month of activities and events was launched at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Moose Jaw last week.

If you’re looking for something to do as a family on Family Day weekend, it will be a Free Fishing weekend in Saskatchewan from February 16th to 18th. Children under 16 do not need a license at any time during the fishing season, but this weekend Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas, and Aunts and Uncles can try out ice fishing with the kids for free. Wakamow Valley will be hosting WinterFest at Kiwanis River Park on Saturday, February 16th from 11am to 3pm. The free family event will include snowshoeing, Christmas tree toss, crafts, games, wagon rides, axe throwing and a concession. During the following week of the school break, the Moose Jaw Public Library also has some great activities for families.

Thank you to all educational staff for the work you do to help families so their children can achieve their highest potential. The gift of time is even more valuable when it promotes literacy. Storytelling and literacy activities with our children or grandchildren is a great way to celebrate Family Day.