The Department of Education (DepEd), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Philippines, Hope Builders Organization Negros Island Inc., and the City Government of Victorias conducted a storytelling session yesterday, at an activity center in Victorias City, aimed at enhancing literacy and punctuating the importance of reading among early grade learners.
According to a press release, forty early grade learners took part, along with their parents, in a variety of interactive activities, trivia, and reading sessions.
The initiative was part of the ABC+ Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines, a project of the Department of Education (DepEd) supported by USAID Philippines and RTI International, that seeks to improve literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional skills of Filipino early grade learners or those in kindergarten to grade 3.
Jacobo Montalvo, speaking on behalf of the Victorias City Vice Mayor Abelardo Bantug III, said that the northern Negros Occidental city is beyond grateful for considering it as one of the target communities in the province for implementation of a community-based approach of enhancing the academic performance of their early grade learners.
“Vice Mayor Bantug is always mindful of the importance of educating children about the value of reading through various initiatives that involve residents of the neighborhood,” he said.
Victorias City Councilor Derek Palanca, who led one of the storytelling sessions, told participating children and their parents of the importance of education and its impact it could create to one’s life.
“Reading makes us explore new worlds, know new heroes, and aspire to new heights,” SP Palanca said during the sidelines of the activity.
“Storybooks, comic books, magazines, newspapers – they are great tools not only for learning but also for enjoyment and I hope we can make reading an enjoyable and empowering activity for our children,” he added.
In her message, The Asia Foundation (TAF)’s ABC+ Project Education Governance Manager, Vernice Quintana, emphasized the importance of the community in helping early grade learners ignite their love of reading and raise the literacy level of the children.
“The goal of ABC+ project is to develop literacy, numeracy, and social relation skills of our learners in the early grades. We want to emphasize that every learner is a reader and target to achieve the ideal literacy rate for Victorias City,” she said.
The USAID ABC+ Project has also been conducting Parent and Community Engagement (PCE) Sessions in Victorias City and other areas in Negros Occidental in partnership with The Asia Foundation and Hope Builders Organization Negros Island Inc. (HBONI), the press release added.
The PCE sessions equip early grade learners’ parents with practical skills in effective parenting and home learning techniques. This aims to increase the involvement of parents and home learning partners in their children’s education and complement school teachers’ efforts.
The ABC+ Project will also be piloting a multi-stakeholder investment and planning mechanism in the city for the benefit of early grade learners. The local government will take the lead in conducting the Education Sector Mechanism, a collaborative mechanism aimed at addressing early grade learning woes, including literacy and numeracy, through strategic interventions and investments from both the public and private sectors.*