As you're probably aware, CANVAS partners with numerous individuals and organizations to bring our books directly to children all over the Philippines. These partners, in addition to bringing the books to kids in poor and disadvantaged communities and public schools, also send us a brief report and pictures of their respective bookgiving events.
So this time, we thought we'd share two reports from the Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX) Manila and Batangas, two schools managed by the Ayala Foundation in partnership with the Department of Education. We have kept their reports as received, and unedited.
This first report comes from Ms. Coleen Enriquez, a Grade 5 English teacher:
CENTEX Manila is a public elementary school situated in Tondo, Manila. The school welcomed its first batch of 75 kindergarten students in 1998. For this year the school has a total of 525 enrollees from Kindergarten to Sixth Grade. CENTEX caters to children who come from economically challenged families that deserve quality education to help them lead a better and brighter future. These children are given the best quality of education that will guide them and discover for themselves their capabilities and enhance talents.
Recently the school received book donations from the Center for Art, NewVentures and Sustainable Development (CANVAS.) The students were very excited upon seeing the books given to them. They immediately browsed through the books, eager to read as they turned each page of the storybooks. These books enrich our students’ learning experience since stories are fun, motivating, and help develop positive attitudes in the children. The books also provided them the opportunity to hone social skills as they shared their thoughts, opinions, and feelings about the stories they’ve read to one another.
The storybooks are also used as a resource material in facilitating Philosophy for Children sessions in each class. This approach aims to enhance the students reasoning and critical thinking skills. It taps into the child’s natural curiosity and assists them in finding meaning, encourages learners to ask questions and explore issues, ideas and concepts that are relevant to their lives. This helps them develop the qualities that make for good judgment in their everyday life.
And, this second report comes from Ms. Rhea Medilla and Ms. Sheryll Taroma, elementry school teachers and class advisers for Grades 3 and 6, respectively:
CENTEX Batangas, located in Bauan, is one of two schools managed by Ayala Foundation, Inc. in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), corporate sponsors, and the local government unit. The school offers education from Kindergarten to Grade Six, and aims to provide bright but economically disadvantaged children with an education equal to that of the best private schools in the country. CENTEX believes in improving the physical, financial, and human resources of an ordinary public school and seeks to be a model for private and government partnership.
Last July 2, CENTEX Batangas received a book donation from CANVAS Philippines. A total of 525 books of various titles were donated to the school. These included Earth Tales, Tahan na Tahanan, Ang Batang Maraming Bawal, The Cat and the Bat and Other Fables, Nadia and the Blue Stars, and Rizalpabeto.
This generous contribution of CANVAS provided opportunity for children at the primary level to exchange opinions and ideas about topics such as caring for the environment, through the stories they’ve read. Certainly, the love for reading is reinforced in the students.
In the Intermediate level, books such as The Cat and The Bat and Other Fables, Nadia and the Blue Stars and Rizalpabeto were distributed to students from Grades 4 to 6. Rizalpabeto has been a useful resource for our Filipino teachers. Since the selections are written in Filipino, teachers have used the poems as part of the motivation and presentation of their lessons. The students, on the other hand, gained meaningful reflections while reading these books during their free period. According to the children, they found the poems helpful and relevant because the literary pieces allowed them to gain a better understanding about the life of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.
Other students who received the book of fables found the stories fascinating and meaningful as well. These fables promoted values and morals that can be applied in their daily life. They gained a better appreciation of the stories through the Tagalog translation.
The story of Nadia and the Blue Stars easily became a favourite among students given its touching narrative. Definitely, this book allowed students to appreciate literature and art as well. Seeing the captivating illustrations in the book challenged a handful of students to develop their skills in art.
The entire school community is grateful for the book donations received. This has certainly helped the school in developing our children’s love for reading since the books appealed to the needs and interest of our students. More than just enjoying reading, they are books that provide lessons applicable to everyday life.
To everyone of you, again, from the bottom of our hearts, and on behalf of tens of thousands of children all over the Philippines, THANK YOU!!!
For this report, we highlight and recognize just two of our partners who have quietly helped to bring our books into the hands of children in some of the most beautiful yet remote places of the Philippines.
Thank you to the 12th Marine Battalion for bringing our books into the hands of 2,255 pupils of ten primary and elementary schools in Southern Palawan last December 2014. In some cases, they had to navigate 10 kilometers of rough and rugged terrain over 2-3 hours using carabaos to carry and deliver the books to some of the schools in the area!
Thank you, too, to the Cordillera Conservation Trust, which works in some of the most important ecological areas not only in the Philippines but in the world. Much of their work consists in working with public elementary schools, teaching children how to build and maintain their own forest nurseries, and guiding them in their growth as young environmentalists. In their report to us, they said that they chose the remote village communities around Mount Pulag. These villages have some of the most remote schools they currently work in, where each village requires a minimum of 4-5 hours of walking or a scary motorbike ride through some single track footpaths.
Giving books to children is fulfilling work. But if delivering them “all over the Philippines” is to include the farthest corners of the country, as described above, it can at times also be difficult and committed work.
Thus, while we cannot name them all, we do wish to thank the increasing number of partner institutions, organizations and individuals who have taken our mission to heart.
And we wish to thank you all, for us and on behalf of the children of the Philippines, for your continued support. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again and again and again… all these were made possible by your generous belief in what we do. Thank you!
To date, we've given away more than 70,000 books to children in all corners of the Philippines. 70,000! When we started less than 3 years ago, we only had a modest goal of 3,000 books, but because of your help and generosity, has turned into a dream of giving away one million books in the next five to ten years.
We're still a long way away from that target, but your continued support is helping to keep us moving forward in very high spirits.
Lots of people and organizations are continuing to help us to actually get the books into the hands of children all over the Philippines. To close out this year, we thought we'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
From the bottom of our heart, and on behalf of all the children that you are giving joy to, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Happy Holidays from all of us at CANVAS!
Binibining Pilipinas (literally Miss Philippines), is a Filipino beauty pageant that has been responsible for selecting the representatives of the Philippines for Miss Universe, Miss International, and other global pageants. It is organized by the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, a non-stock, non-profit foundation, which, apart from finding the country's best beauties as representatives for various international competitions, is a key partner in nation-building for over four decades, providing skills training, educational workshops, mission work, and other relevant services for marginalized sectors of the country. Last month, CANVAS was joined by Binibining Pilipinas ladies to hand out more of our books - books made possible with your continuing and generous support! - to children in the urban poor community of Payatas, in Quezon City. We hooked up with Fairplay For All Foundation (FFA), an organization based in Payatas which conducts soccer trainings for children in the community. Over the past few years, FFA has organized a football team known as Payatas FC which has been very successful, especially in demonstrating what the people in the area can achieve when given the opportunity. Several players have been invited to join professional football academies and even the various age levels of National teams, while winning more than 20 trophies during the period.The pictures speak for themselves. It was a beautiful way to spend the day, surrounded by beautiful kids, beautiful books, and beautiful ladies. :-)
Senyas Kamay Pilipinas is a nonprofit organization that supports various schools and individuals with special needs. Its projects focus on family and individual empowerment, skill acquisition and enhancement in arts and music, and supporting basic school needs.
Senyas Kamay Pilipinas recently held its annual school supplies distribution project, “Tulong-Aral Para Sa Mga Natatanging Mag-aaral” (Help for Studies for Special Children), last June 13, 2014. About 650 differently-abled students coming from various public schools: San Jose Elementary School and Kasiglahan Village Elementary School in Rodriguez, Rizal; Bagong Silangan Elementary School and Commonwealth Elementary School in Quezon City; Bagong Silang Elementary School, Bagong Silang High School and Kalayaan National High School, were provided with basic school materials such as notebooks, pad papers, pencils, pens, eraser, ruler, sharpener and crayons.
Senyas Kamay reached out to CANVAS, and for the first time included our story books as part of the gifts to the children. One storybook was handed out to each student along with a bag of school supplies which guaranteed smiles and invited delightful curiosity among the students, and much gratitude from the teachers and school administrators.
We will continue to work with organizations directly involved with public schools and poor communities in order to bring the books into the hands of children all over the Philippines.
Again, we wish to recognize and thank you for your continued support to this worthy cause. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – this could not be possible without you.
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