Thursday, June 20, 2019

The 2019 National Children's Book Day

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The 2019 Alcala Prize Winner

Panadero wins Alcala Prize

The Philippine Board on Books for Young People awards the 2019 PBBY-Alcala Prize to Adrian C. Panadero, a Visual Communication graduate from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts and a graphic designer and illustrator at And A Half Branding and Graphic Design,  a firm that specializes in creating brand identities.

This year’s PBBY-Alcala Prize called for entries based on the 2019 PBBY-Salanga Prize-winning story, A Delicate Strength: The Story and Art of Araceli Limcaco Dans by Gabriela Lee. A Delicate Strength is a creative nonfiction piece about a young Araceli Dans’ first encounter with art and how it eventually helps her family and country in a time of war.

Panadero shall receive a cash prize of PHP25, 000, a gold medal, as well as the opportunity to be published. He will be awarded at the 36th National Children’s Book Day celebration on July 16, 2019. The PBBY also recognized three Honorable Mention winners: Frances Alvarez of Cainta, Ivan Bryan Reverente of Quezon City and Arlei Dormiendo of Antipolo City.

The contest is co-sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

For inquiries about the contest, contact the PBBY Secretariat at telephone number 352-6765 loc. 203 or e-mail

Monday, June 17, 2019

Accreditation is Building a Learning Community

Sunday, June 16, 2019

On Reading Aloud and Storytelling (2/2)

In the event of being with two different groups of people who are interested and eager to learn and relearn skills in storytelling and reading aloud, I consider myself fortunate to learn from them too. 

From the TSP volunteers, I realized how our search for meaning and goodness in this world can be actualized in volunteer work. I look back at the young professionals I met a week ago and I am still touched by their hope and their sincerity to help TSP reach its goal of people empowerment through books and reading. From the DepEd K-3 teachers in Pangasinan, I am reminded once again of the values of grit and patience. The Filipino public school teacher is up against challenges bigger than herself or himself. It will take a lifetime to change the system, but it is enough to be able to inspire and affect one person. 

Feeling young and energized with TSP volunteers!

I see the goodness in Rey Bufi and his wife, Grace, the parents and founder of TSP. I admire the resilience of Teacher Ara for continuing on and doing a thankless job. Organizing people and mobilizing them is not an easy task, but they do it anyway. This is the grace I take away from leaving Biñan once in a while. I meet authentic people who, despite limitations, persevere to make a difference in their communities.

Specifically, I discovered how tenuous our connection is with our folk literature and local knowledge. Pangasinan is showing signs of progress, but my conversations with teachers there reveal gaps in the use of their mother tongue and in telling stories from their culture and history. Exposure to different forms of literature is an area of growth as well. Both groups, TSP volunteers and K-3 teachers were fascinated at the folk tales I used as samplers for storytelling. Comments like “ganun pala yun”, “ay pwede pala” were aplenty. 

DepEd Superintendent Balderas explains that reading is comprehension.

The scarcity of books and resources was a clamor of both groups. I resolve to include one or two activities for materials creation next time I do a workshop. As a librarian, I will echo and share this concern. Hopefully, any of my advocacy group could pick from there and help bridge children to books they so badly need to engage in.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

On Reading Aloud and Storytelling (1/2)

I am writing this on may way back to Manila from a successful training workshop on reading aloud and storytelling in Pangasinan. I was invited by the Department of Education of Region 1 through the initaive and effort of  Teacher Arabella Soniega. The training program is designed for K-3 teachers to learn and relearn pedagogy in early literacy education. There were 128 teachers present in the training plus, a dozen school leaders. 

Last week, I was with the The Storytelling Project (TSP) to run the same workshop for their volunteers. Of the 15 volunteers, 2 are teachers and 1 is a librarian. They will soon be implementing TSP’s reading program in a public school in Laguna.

Two workshops. Same topics. Different audiences. Different purpose. Same goals. TSP volunteers need a good skill set in reading aloud because their two-fole roels. One is to support teachers in teaching literacy slills and the other is to provide children with an environment where reading is enjoyed and experienced outside of the classroom. The DepEd recognizes storytelling as an adjunct strategy for reading aloud when learning skills in the four communication arts, namely, listening, speaking, reading and writing. I discuss both in workshops and demonstrate ways of using them.

Reading Aloud from a teaching context, especially in literacy teaching, is a proven technique in teaching comprehension skills. When an adult reads aloud to children, the act of reading and the cognitive processes involved in it are shown, shared and modelled to them in a manner that is enjoyable and non-threatening. In storytelling, the teller does not use a book but a story to take the listener in a journey of adventure, wonder, play and the discovery of insights. Both are multi-sensorial activities that develop many skills including life skills, compassion and empathy.
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