Utzurrum: Alimbukad: Basa Pamilya – Zonta’s own-A A +A
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
WHAT edge does an underprivileged pre-schooler, who reads at home, have versus one who doesn’t? There’s a starting literacy edge as pre-school teachers have surprisingly discovered.
With this in mind, the Think Tanks of Zonta Club of Cebu 2 have launched Alimbukad: Basa Pamilya, a family literacy project, Educational Excellence through Parental Engagement.
This is a joint project of the Zonta Club of Cebu 2 and the Cebu City Public Library with Zontian Wi Suan Tiu, as program coordinator and Ruth Chua, chief librarian.
Children from low-income families enter school and are faced with overcrowded classrooms, lack of materials and teachers who can hardly cope with their needs. These children end up performing poorly, and eventually drop out.
Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher and the home is his first school, and reading his first subject. When parents support their children’s learning skills, the kids are most likely to succeed.
Family literacy refers to the various ways families can develop and use literary skills from reading a storybook together, or playing word games, singing, etc. and focuses on parents reading to their children and engaging in fun literary activities.
Alimbukad Basa Pamilya has this program description and content: 20 to 23 parents of pre-schoolers aged four to five years old to be recruited from day care centers in selected barangays.
With the public library as venue, there will be 12 weekly sessions of two hours per session, during which parents undergo free training in literacy and oral language through reading aloud, book talk, etc. They work with mentors in planning for the Parent and Child Together Time (Pact).
Literary activities continue at home, with each parent bringing home a bag containing books, and actively doing nursery rhymes, singing, identifying sounds, etc. Attendance and completion of homework are required. Incentives are given to perfect attendance, and even a certificate is provided for those who make the 12 weekly sessions.
A highlight during the launch was the presence of lawyer Antonio Santos, director of the National Library of the Philippines, who mentioned that this is the first time he heard of such a program in the country. Kudos to Cebuanos!
Another entertaining sidelight of the event was the participation of day care barangay kids who were simply enchanted with the colorful and starry “puppets” from the Childlink Learning Center, who are members of the Z Club, a junior club of Zonta.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 26, 2013.