Looking to strengthen literacy through community, a local non-profit will continue a number of literacy-based programs throughout the summer months. Literacy Merritt & Nicola Valley will continue to offer both its Active Stories and Explore Art Literacy programming free-of-charge for children ages four to six, and there are several activities for families to join in on. 

Literacy Merritt’s Active Stories sessions are centered around the reading of a children’s story book, followed by physical activities that engage participants based on the storyline. The activities encourage the development of movement skills, improvisation, creativity, and early literacy skills. Active Stories takes place at the Love to Dance Academy downtown. 

“We are thrilled with the calibre of instructors for these programs, and the programs themselves are a great way to introduce literacy skills to young, active children,” said Lia Moyes Larson, chair of Literacy Merritt & Nicola Valley Society. 

“We want our children exposed to literacy as early as possible. These programs are a fun way to approach learning. The kids will read, create, move, learn and develop early literacy skills.”

The organization’s other summer offering, Explore Art Literacy sessions, allows children to explore books and art through fun, hands-on, and, sometimes, very messy projects. The activities are designed to build key skills such as memory, attention, and concentration, which Literacy Merritt said are all important to the development of early reading skills. Explore Art Literacy takes places at the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council Clubhouse downtown. 

Instructors for both the Active Stories and Explore Art Literacy programs will also be dropping in at various events over the summer, including the School District #58 Kick Back & Connect summer program locations, as well as some farmers markets, street markets, and other community celebrations. The organizations even has some offerings for older youth. 

“For teens ages 13 to 17, a new free physical literacy dance fusion session will be offered,” added a release by Literacy Merritt & Nicola Valley. “Participants will explore movement with local dance instructor Kia Henriksen.”

The new dance fusion session will take place at the Merritt Library on Garcia Street. All programs will take place throughout July and August. For times, locations, and pre-registration (required) on all Literacy Merritt & Nicola Valley offerings, visit www.literacymerritt.com. To contact the organization, email [email protected].