CANVAS works with local artists and writers to publish original picture books that are then donated directly to children in public schools and poor communities throughout the Philippines. For many of the kids, ours is the very first book they get to call their own, and the effect can be profound and even life changing. We hope to give away one million books to one million children in the next 5-10 years.
11 million Filipinos are functionally illiterate (they cannot read with comprehension) while 4 million have no basic literacy skills. And while most Filipino children do enroll in Grade 1, an estimated 55% of them will drop out without finishing high school. Increased access to, and encouraging a love for, books in public schools is needed to promote functional literacy, creative thinking, and independent reading skills that are needed for future success.
By donating full-color books of award-winning stories to public schools and hospitals, we will promote independent reading and creative thinking in Filipino children while also exposing them to the best of contemporary Filipino art and literature.
The project will help empower children to think creatively, learn on their own, and strengthen their love of books. These are skills that will stay and help all-even those who drop out of school-to achieve success all through their lives.