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“Bookmates is a registered charity established in 1984, based in Manitoba, that promotes and supports family literacy through a variety of activities,” explains Monica Dinney, executive director.
“We support parents and caregivers in their roles as children’s first teachers. We recognize the early years are critical to help prepare children for success as they enter the school years.”
“We develop, deliver and offer training in a variety of inter-generational early literacy programs. We focus on inner-Winnipeg communities, however our programs extend throughout the province.”
Alphabet Soup of Programs
Bookmates offers a number of themed programs such as “Alphabet Soup in Motion”, “Growing and Learning Together” and “Growing Up Green.” Approximately forty training sessions for program facilitators are held each year.You can find Bookmates at work in family resource centres, child care facilities, schools, libraries, and First Nations communities.
At one of the programs, Rock & Read – Reflecting Community Culture,
* An Elder is present to lead First Nations cultural traditions and language learnings.
* Parents create books and activities for their children rooted in their culture.
* Children learn rhymes, play games, make art, and read books in a family community environment.
Making a Difference and How You Can Help
“Parents share that as a result of our programs, they feel encouraged to enhance their own skills while enjoying time spent with their child” says Dinney. “They develop a family support network, and learn about community resources.”