Active Literacy

Literacy Toolkit

Being a role model means using your literacy and math skills in every day life. This shows children that reading, writing, math, computer skills, and thinking skills are all important. Some ways to be a role model include reading when your children are around. Don’t wait until they are in bed. Talking with your friends about what they are reading when your children are around. Also, writing a grocery list (with your child’s help) and then going shopping for the items on the list shows the child that reading and writing skills have a purpose.

Playing with your child in ways that are math and literacy rich is another tool to help your child learn. Through playing with your child, you are telling him/her that s/he is important to you. Through play, children learn language skills, taking turns, thinking skills, decision-making skills, and lots more. It is much easier to learn anything while having fun. Some examples of literacy play include sorting all the fruit into different kinds such as all the apples in one pile, oranges in another...then counting them. Playing card games like “go fish” or “old maid” encourage number sense.

Reading with your child on a daily basis (if possible). Reading is a tool that can help your child learn. Parents who regularly read with their children have children that grow up to be readers. Reading stimulates your child’s imagination, they learn new words, they learn letter and word awareness, they build listening, concentration and memory skills and they learn that language is important. Visit the library and encourage your child to pick a book s/he likes because a child is more likely to listen and engage with a book that they are interested in. While reading with your child, make sure that you ask questions about the book and the pictures on the cover. What do you think the book is about? Why do you think that? What colour is the cover? This encourages understanding or comprehension. As you are reading with your child be excited about the book. If you have trouble reading the words, tell a story from the pictures. By setting aside 15 minutes each day to read with your child, you are ensuring a lifelong love of books.
Local Literacy
The following organizations provide literacy support and help for families.

Public libraries
Your local library provides free online access to educational games, ebooks, and more. Just have your library card handy to sign in to use PebbleGo, TumbleBooks, and PowerLife Sciences. Check out the kids sections of your local library website for more information.
The Literacy Group of Waterloo Region 
151 Frederick St., Suite 200 
Kitchener, ON  N2H 2M2
Phone: 519-743-6090 

Anishnabeg Outreach

151 Frederick St., Suite 501 
Kitchener, ON  N2H 2M2
Phone: 519-742-0300

Conestoga College
Doon Campus, 299 Doon Valley Dr.
Kitchener, ON  N2G 4M4
Phone: 519-748-5220

Waterloo Catholic District School Board
--St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres, Core Essentials

80 Young St.
Kitchener, ON N2H 4Z1
Phone: 519-745-1201

Waterloo Region District School Board
- Alternative and Continuing Education, Essential Skills Upgrading

151 Weber St.
Waterloo, ON N2J 2A9
Phone: 519-885-4356

Wilfrid Laurier Students Union - Laurier Students for Literacy
Fred Nichols Campus Centre,
75 University Ave.
Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext. 2927

Project Read Literacy Network Waterloo-Wellington
298 Frederick St.
Kitchener, ON N2H 2N5
Phone: 519-570-3054

EarlyON Child and Family Centres

Baby Connections c/o Kids Ability
500 Hallmark Dr.
Waterloo ON
Phone: 519-886-8886 x.1373

Online Resources
There are lots of family-friendly websites with games that help young minds develop their early literacy skills.

Younger Children (3-7 years)


Watch short videos modelling songs, rhymes, and fingerplays. Perfect for preschool children.

Leading to Reading

Leading to Reading is an early literacy website where parents and children enjoy the discovery of reading together. Read, sing, play and explore a variety of books and topics.

ABC Fun Phonics 

Learn phonics the fun way by using cartoons, audio narration, sounds and words.

This popular site offers a variety of skill levels and includes short stories which your child can read or just listen to.

Older Children (8-12 years)

Wacky Web Tales 

Use your imagination to create silly stories similar in style to Madlibs.

Parent Resources


Get your child ready for school with tips that promote your childhood reading, writing and arithmetic skills. There are also suggestions on selecting books for your children.

Reading is Fundamental - Literacy Resources

Find everything you need to develop your child's literacy skills at this website.  Includes resources for parents like booklists, activities, articles and more

Early Literacy Alliance Waterloo Region - How to Raise a Reader

Raise a reader with tips in this booklet from the Early Literacy Alliance of Waterloo Region.