June 02, 2021

Government of Saskatchewan Announces Province’s First Northern Family Literacy Hub

Northern Saskatchewan families will soon have an extra support for their children's literacy, as the first Northern Family Literacy Hub prepares to open in July in La Ronge.

The La Ronge and Area Family Literacy Hub is being established by KidsFirst North and will be located in - and partnering with - the nisto ihtāwina Early Years Family Resource Centre, to serve families in the tri-communities of La Ronge, Air Ronge and Lac La Ronge Indian Band.  The Northern hub is one of nine provincially-funded literacy hubs across Saskatchewan that offer literacy programs and resources for local families with children ages six and under.

"Literacy is so important for children's learning and development, and parents really are their child's first teacher," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said.  "Saskatchewan's Family Literacy Hubs offers great supports - even during a pandemic.  It is inspiring to see how these hubs have continued to serve families."

Family Literacy Hubs empower caregivers to support their child's early literacy development at home and improve caregivers' own literacy levels.  When caregivers are actively engaged in their children's learning, children are better prepared for school and achieve at higher levels.

The newest hub is the Ministry of Education's response to an identified need in Northern Saskatchewan.

Hubs operate through community-based organizations in Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Rosetown, Lloydminster, Prince Albert and Saskatoon.  The Gravelbourg-based College Mathieu Family Literacy Hub also provides French language family literacy programming and resources province-wide.

The work of the Hubs has continued through the pandemic in various ways, including virtual programming, lending out laptops, supporting parents with learning at home, building literacy kits for families and leading physically distanced and outdoor events, such as story walks.

"The La Ronge and Area Family Literacy Hub will provide opportunity for Northern families to access, learn and engage in family literacy programs that relate to their experiences as Northern residents," KidsFirst North Program Manager Rebecca Clark said.

On top of the many books that reflect the language, culture and environment of the North, students at the Northern Family Literacy Hub will be able to carry on Elders' tradition of drumming while storytelling, as they gather around a large drum and play it together while building their literacy skills.

The Saskatchewan provincial government has invested $425,000 in Family Literacy Hubs in the 2021-22 budget.  The Ministry of Education has funded Family Literacy Hubs since 2007.