Best Summer Ever: Day 5
Add politics to the family dinner menu
Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, discovered while researching her book Losing Confidence: Power, Politics, and the Crisis in Canadian Democracy, that young people raised in families where politics is discussed at the family dinner table are far more likely to vote than those who haven't benefited from such lively discussions with family members.
You can also extend the conversation by watching documentary films together, ensuring that your kids have access to plenty of books and magazines (either via your in-home collection or via regular trips to the library), and by participating in community events.
The opportunities to grow and develop as a family committed to a better world are endless, once you start seeking them out.
- Elizabeth May, Q & A: Canadian Democracy in Crisis? Toronto Star, April 21, 2009
DocumentaryFilms.net: A website that features detailed reviews of documentary films.
National Film Board: You can search National Film Board (NFB) films by title. There are 660 films available for viewing online. (You'll definitely recognize some of these films from your school days. Prepare yourself for a blast-from-the-past experience.)
ReelLearning.ca: The Toronto International Film Festival's film literacy and learning site for children and youth. "We believe film is a tool that can give a voice to students, bridge cultures and transform the way students see the world," the site declares. "Written literacy was the focus of twentieth-century education; media literacy will be the focus in the twenty-first!"
Note: Just as an aside, if you're a fan of small/literary magazines, you may want to find out about a new Heritage Canada funding policy that may be putting some low-circulation, but culturally significant Canadian publications in peril. Quill and Quire wrote about the new arts policy - and a Facebook group was formed in response - recently.
Photo Credit: Ann Douglas, 2009.