Celebrating National Family Literacy Month

No doubt, you are going about your business today, perhaps glad the excitement of Halloween is behind you and anticipating Thanksgiving as the next holiday. But, today is actually another important day to celebrate. November 1st marks National Family Literacy Day. In fact, the entire month celebrates National Family Literacy. It’s a good time to slow down and think about how you are encouraging literacy in your family.

Since 1994, when Congress passed a joint resolution designating November 1 as National Family Literacy Day, this date has kicked off events and celebrations through schools, libraries and communities encouraging family literacy.

So what is family literacy?  Family literacy is considered any activity that brings two or more generations together to engage in learning activities. The National Center for Families Learning is dedicated to that end. Consider the words of Sharon Darling, Founder and President of this organization:

“When parents and children come together to learn, relationships among family members, neighbors and communities are all strengthened. Educators and families across the country invest time—from hours to moments everyday—to learn together and make real-world connections that make learning stick, and last a lifetime. As we take National Family Literacy Month to reflect on the many successes and breakthroughs we’ve experienced with families learning together over the years, it’s easy to see that learning two generations at a time is a critical, worthwhile investment.”

Most parents and grandparents would agree but, not surprisingly, the difficult part seems to be finding the time to engage in family learning activities. Let’s pay attention to what Sharon says about investing time from hours to moments. It’s so easy to think that you need long blocks of time to make a difference. Truth is, you don’t. During the course of this month, I’ll share websites, short activities, short books and short games you can enjoy with family members. Please chime in with your own suggestions. Happy Family Literacy Day and Month!


  1. Check out this website:  familieslearning.org/…/national-family-literacy-month-resources
  2. Find an engaging picture book and read it as a family
  3. Word of the Day: Take turns choosing a new word each day of November. Teach it to other family members and try to incorporate it into your conversation.
  4. Make a game of finding little known facts about Thanksgiving to share during the holiday meal. Here’s a favorite Thanksgiving book of mine to get you started.

          1621 Thanksgiving


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