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Network Researchers and Aboriginal Families Create Literacy Tools for P.E.I. and N.S.

Printing Date: Monday, February 9, 2021
Source: The Guardian (Charlottetown)

Network researchers and aboriginal families create literacy tools for P.E.I. and N.S.

Vianne Timmons, along with Fiona O'Donoghue, have been awarded over $100,000 to continue their research to help improve children's literacy levels in Aboriginal communities in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia.

Vianne Timmons, vice-president of academic development at UPEI, and Fiona O'Donoghue, professor in the Faculty of Education, have been awarded $119,395 to continue their research to help improve children's literacy levels in Aboriginal
communities in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

The funding was provided by the National Literacy Secretariat and the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network.

This two-year research project will lead to the development of a family literacy program for aboriginal communities based on literacy needs that have been identified by families themselves. The primary focus is on families with children in Grades 1 to 5.

The program is being developed with hands-on participation by parents and children who volunteered to take part in a pilot study last year. Researchers met with families to discuss challenges related to literacy and identify suitable activities to help overcome these challenges.

As a result, 20 modules are now being designed at UPEI to enhance parents ability to support their children's learning and literacy development.

"Recent research in developing family literacy programs in rural P.E.I. has shown that engaging families in improving literacy for their children not only increases the children's literacy levels, but also builds family networks and transforms family practices," says Timmons.

"The approach we are using involves the whole family and benefits everyone," adds O'Donoghue. "We have already seen this family literacy program change reading levels and the lives of many individuals in the Maritime provinces. We believe this program will have a very positive impact on families and literacy levels in the aboriginal communities."

This research project is one of several that Timmons is leading whose objective is to improve literacy and health among marginalized groups in society. Two of her areas focus are children with special needs and inclusive practice and aboriginal children's perceptions on health.

LAST MODIFIED: November 06 2003 10:09:15

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