‘Booklatan’ teaches children the importance of reading and playing

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Cultural activist and artist Alma Quinto teaches some parents from Valenzuela City how to make a personal story book for their children ages 0 to  4 years old.  Photo courtesy of Save the Children

Cultural activist and artist Alma Quinto teaches some parents from Valenzuela City how to make a personal story book for their children ages 0 to
4 years old.
Photo courtesy of Save the Children

Over 300 parents and their children benefitted from Booklatan sa Valenzuela, a whole-day reading appreciation event held recently at Valenzuela City Astrodome.

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The said activity was organized by Save the Children and the National Book Development Board (NBDB), in partnership with the local government of Valenzuela City, in celebration of Buwan ng Wika.

From performing well-loved local tales to writing their own stories about their children, the parents eagerly participated in the different workshops facilitated by acclaimed artists/authors. Award-winning author Genaro Cruz used popular Filipino children’s books to teach parents useful techniques on reading books to their children.

Mothers and fathers also brought out their inner thespians in a performance workshop conducted by Philippines ducational Theater Association’s Fredyl Fernandez, who encouraged parents to act out the stories they tell their kids. Cultural activist and artist Alma Quinto let parents write and illustrate stories inspired by the experiences of their own children.

Delighting participants with his award-winning poetry is 2013 Makatang Taon Joselito delos Reyes, a Valenzuela City local, who also shared with parents the importance of instilling the love of reading at an early age.

Save the Children’s Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) adviser Maya Nayo discussed the importance of play and reading in stimulating children’s brain development.

This is the first time that Booklatan sa Bayan, a regular project organized by the NBDB, had parents as participants.

Booklatan sa Valenzuela is part of the NBDB and Save the Children’s ongoing partnership for the First Read Project, a Save the Children program that aims to improve the development of children 0 to 4 years old through a more responsive parenting and active community support.

In the Philippines only 33 percent of preschool children have access to ECCD facilities and programs, a gap that the First Read program tries to address through strong partnership with national and local government agencies.

“We are truly honored to have the support of a national government agency such as the National Book Development Board and the local government of Valenzuela for the First Read program,” said Save the Children’s Country Director Anna Lindenfors.

She ended, “The task of ensuring that our children meet their developmental needs should not be the sole responsibility of their parents, but should be a shared effort between families and their communities.”

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