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May 12, 2006
For immediate release

Government Announces Support for National Childhood Literacy Research Conference in PEI in Recognition of International Family Day


International Family Day is Monday, May 15, 2006 and today in the Prince Edward Island Legislature, Minister of Education, Mildred Dover announced that Prince Edward Island will host a national conference on childhood literacy research to be held in Charlottetown from June 18 to 20, 2006.

In a statement to the House, Minister Dover acknowledged that parents and families play a critical role in helping a young child develop early language and literacy skills. Yet, in Prince Edward Island and across Canada, many adults and families struggle with language and literacy skills every day.

“Through the Department of Education and the Children’s Secretariat of the Department of Social Services and Seniors, government will sponsor the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network Conference,” said Minister Dover. “This conference will bring together Canada’s leading minds to share and discover evidence-based ways to help children communicate better.”

Social Services and Seniors Minister Chester Gillan advised that there is growing evidence about the powerful influence that families have on children’s learning. “The conference will provide new opportunities for educators and families to learn about early literacy development,” he said. “We hope the discussions will lead to new partnerships to strengthen parent involvement in their children’s learning in early childhood and throughout the school years,” he added.

The theme of the conference is New Words, New Worlds: Partnering for Childhood Literacy. Parents and educators will be invited to attend the conference, along with researchers, policy makers, language and literacy experts and students. The conference agenda includes a series of workshop sessions on Monday, June 19 where parents and educators will be encouraged to ask questions about children’s language and literacy development.

“It is hoped that the conference will give interested parents a chance to come away with answers and information relevant to their family’s situation,” added Minister Dover. For more information or to register for the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network 2006 Annual Network Conference, visit their Web site at For more information about International Day of Families, visit the United Nations Web site at

Media Contact: Verna Lynne Weeks
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