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ON THE PAGE: Winter Fun Fair on tap Sunday in the stacks

Celebrate Family Literacy Week 2023 this weekend with the Maple Ridge library
The Winter Fun Fair is back at Maple Ridge library Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Special to The News)

By Liza Morris/Special to The News

Every year, communities across B.C. celebrate Family Literacy Week.

This year it runs Jan. 22 to 29, and Maple Ridge Public Library will host a special Family Literacy Day event – the Winter Fun Fair – on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Winter Fun Fair brings together 20 local community organizations to celebrate literacy in all its forms – reading, numeracy, physical literacy, and much more.

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Literacy Committee, SD42, City of Maple Ridge, Family Education & Support, Immigrant Services Society of BC, Maple RIDge Fire & Rescue, Maple Ridge Museum & Archives, VanCity, WildBC, MR Ukulele Circle, Maple Ridge Seniors Centre and Seniors Network, and many more groups will be on hand with fun interactive literacy activities.

There will be contests, popcorn, a family dance party at 11:30 a.m. and numerous singing and dance performances by youth from Showstoppers Academy throughout the event.

This is the first time the event has been held in-person at Maple Ridge Public Library since January 2020, an event that saw upwards of 1,000 people at the library.

While the intent of the event is a fun, family friendly celebration, it also attempts to draw attention to the literacy struggles of many British Columbians.

According to research by Decoda Literacy Solutions, a provincial literacy organization, more than 700,000 British Columbians have significant challenges with literacy – 45 per cent aged 16-65 may have difficulty understanding newspapers, following instruction manuals, interpreting health information, and other daily living tasks.

There are 52 per cent of British Columbians struggle with numeracy tasks such as calculating interest on a car loan, understanding information on a graph, calculating medicine dosages, and managing personal finances.

Literacy matters at home, at work, and in the community, and impacts every aspect of our lives.

In conjunction with Family Literacy Week 2023, Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) has launched a membership drive – And So the Adventure Begins: Adventure Passports for Everyone!

Any FVRL cardholder can play all year long.

Pick up your adventure passport at any of FVRL’s 25 libraries. Pop into a library and stamp your passport as each activity is completed.

When the passport is complete, enter to win a prize, including one of six grand prizes of $100 Chapters gift card.

Don’t have a library card?

Any resident of the Fraser Valley can sign up for a temporary card online and begin borrowing.

Visit us in person to get your full card. Kids 12 and younger can choose between two fun new library card designs – a bat or a whale.

For more information about the Winter Fun Fair, FVRL Adventure Passports, how to get a library card or any other FVRL programs or services, check out or stop by your local library.

– Liza Morris is a community librarian at Maple Ridge Public Library

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