DID YOU KNOW: Literacy helps youth achieve success through expression and communication

Don't underestimate the importance of having quiet time

Did you know that the number of youth who reported reading for pleasure in a 2008 Mission high school survey of 2,100 youth was 33 per cent?

Increasingly busy lives and high stress levels mixed with the surge in popularity of video games, television, social media and cellphone use have resulted in quiet time away from these distractions becoming increasingly rare.

Quiet time is often underestimated. Nap time in preschool and kindergarten is necessary for healthy brain development as well as assisting children in regulating their emotions and behaviour, thus it fills a void beyond simply being tired. Teenagers actually have an increased need for sleep which is too often uprooted by the pressure of socializing and surrounding technology. Having a comfort level with quiet time to do a solitary activity such as reading is often undervalued.

With the Christmas season having just come and gone, why not share a story or two with your youth about the books you enjoyed when you were young. Consider a book or used book as an inexpensive belated Christmas gift.

How a child/youth feels about reading is related to how reading is encouraged in the household. Take an interest in what your youth is reading in school, ask them questions, make time and space for your youth to read. While there are many great things to be said for the Internet, it does not provide for a youth’s imagination to get lost in a story which can provide an escape from the stress and anxiety of school life.

40 Assets: Helping Our Children and Youth Thrive is a volunteer-based working group in Mission within the District of Mission’s social development program. The Did You Know article series focuses in on results from the 40 Developmental Assets Survey completed in 2008 by 2,100 Mission high school students. If you are interested in youth and family health in Mission and would like to get involved we would love to hear from you.

Contact Kirsten Hargreaves, manager of social development, at 604-820-3752, or via e-mail at khargreaves@mission.ca.


Conversation Cafe

Join Tara Forman from Mission Literacy in Motion and Elspeth Bowers from Fraser Valley Regional Library Jan. 25 and hear more about how literacy helps youth achieve success through expression and communication. Draw prize is Webber Naturals Health basket, valued at more than $100.

Event happens at the Leisure Centre from 7 to 8 p.m. Children are welcome, snacks and activities will be available.