2 min read

Reading Can Be a Generational Bridge

Today (November 20th) is National Child Day and this year’s theme celebrates a child’s right to learn.  Reading is a cornerstone of any child’s education and the foundation for a lifetime of learning.  And yet, many children are staring school in Alberta (and Canada) under-prepared for the education system.

On Monday, one of Carya’s Elder Service Corps project groups visited Calgary Public Library to read to a preschool daycare group age 2-4.  The Elder Service Corps project group is currently ‘Reading for Social Justice’ and they were inspired to bring their love of life-long learning to some of the city’s preschoolers.

“I was always read to as a child” says Elder Service Corps member Laura Strang.  “It was part of our nightly routine and I still read myself to sleep every night.” 

Laura, who taught English as a second language all over to world and to all ages, believes reading to little ones is vital to giving them a good ‘head start’.

“We learned from the library about the importance of rhyming and noises and interaction with children of this age and it was great to see the different levels of engagement from the different kids.”

Stephen Yates also took part in the reading group.  “I’ve never done anything like this before” said the 68 year old retired business consultant “but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’d do it again.  Kids this age are a pretty tough audience though; if they don’t like something they just say they don’t like it.  They’re pretty honest!”

Reading together and inspiring a love of reading in youth is just one benefit of multi-generational reading groups.  The other is that it can provide a bridge in society’s ever-increasing generation gap.

“There’s definitely a void between kids and older adults these days” says Laura.  “It’s most obvious with teenagers, they really seem to struggle to relate to seniors.”

Carya’s Elder Service Corps read Bunny and Baby Blue Blanket, I’m not cute and Boom, the dog who was afraid of thunder.

For more information on reading opportunities, visit Calgary Public Library.

More information on Elder Service Corps here.

More information on Carya’s Early Literacy Programs here.