Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Building a Nation of Readers*

More and more literacy campaigns are sprouting in the metro and nearby suburbs. A good sign of hope, that is. While our politicians rumble and ramble, teachers, artists, reading advocates, socio-civic volunteers, NGO's and the religous continue to carry the mission of enlightening young people - their minds, hearts and souls.

BASA & Fr. Ted Gonzales SJ

I was surprised to learn that Fr. Ted Gonzales, our ME Spiritual Director, is founder of a volunteer-outreach project fostering reading advocacy. Bayan Akayin sa Abot Tanaw (BASA), dreams of developing minds that are alive for nation building. And what better way to do that but to put up a library and expose children to books and reading.

Aklatang Pambata

Barangay Paltok is fast becoming a popular destination for volunteers who believe that a community of readers must have a working and visible community library. Troy Lacsamana, the brainchild behind Aklatang Pambata is continously nurturing the young people of Barangay Paltok towards that goal.

Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation (SAS)

After a successful four day teacher conference in Xavier School, the Programang Kaakbay of SAS & Petron Foundation is well on its way to becoming an annual event for public school teachers in basic education. This year's conference, 154 public school teachers listened to plenary speakers and participated in workshop sessions that firmed up their teaching of reading skills. Founded by Lizzie Zobel and Margarita Delgado, SAS continues to partner with foundations, institutions, organizations donors and corporate sponsors who share the same vision and mission of *building a nation of readers. For photos of the recent confeence (October 27-30, 2006) go here.

These are but some of the many literacy initiatives in the country today. It can not be denied that the presence and accesibility of reading centers and libraries is crucial for children to read and love books. Hope floats after all. If only our government leaders would invest on education and literacy development.

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