NWT Literacy Week 2024: Literacy and Play

NWT Literacy Week 2024: Literacy and Play

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

― Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)

I am very excited about the theme for NWT Literacy Week this year, “Literacy and Play”! At the NWT Literacy Council, we think that play is important for everyone, no matter their age, and that play teaches us throughout our lives. Play can help us connect to the world and people around us, help us test risks and boundaries, and teach us literacy skills. I remember learning how to spell so many words while playing Scrabble on my aunt and uncle’s porch during summer visits, or learning how to problem solve while making a fort in the forest with friends. While playing with my children, I often have to practice patience as they lose track of whose turn it is, and I get to explore my imagination along with theirs.

 The NWT Literacy Council chose this theme to celebrate all of the emerging research reported over the last year on the importance of unstructured and risky play for children, and to highlight the importance of play at every stage of life. Throughout the week of May 6-12, we encourage NWT residents of all ages to take time to play. Play can take many forms, and can bring us relaxation, energy, challenge, joy and learning. Play can keep us active and keep our minds engaged, as it contributes to both physical and mental health.

On Wednesday May 8, we are putting a twist on our annual Read for 15 challenge, and making it Play for 15! We want everyone to take at least 15 minutes to play at home, at work, at school, at a community event, indoors or outdoors. We hope to see offices making time to play for 15 minutes, and challenging other workplaces to do the same. We can’t wait to see all the play that happens at schools, and we hope schools will challenge each other to see who can get the most people playing. We will have prizes for participating workplaces, schools, families and individuals. After you Play for 15 on May 8, fill in the form here and the draws will take place on Monday May 13.

We encourage community groups around the NWT to host events to celebrate NWT Literacy Week. We will provide up to $500 to support a community event. Please fill out the form here to request funding to cover costs such as renting space and/or equipment, paying facilitators, or purchasing food, supplies and prizes. Funding is provided on a first come, first served basis, with one event per community. If funding remains on May 2, additional events in a community will be considered.

Watch our Facebook and Instagram to hear about events happening in your community. If you have an event to share, please send it to us as a message, or email katie@nwtliteracy.ca.

  • Katie Johnson, Program Director



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