Give Books to Children in the Philippines

by The Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS) Vetted since 2011 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified
The first book she gets to call her own!
The first book she gets to call her own!
Last May, one of our partners - the Tiny Library Project - gave away 140 copies of our 2-in-1 books to children of the two Agta communities of Casiguran and Dingalan, both in the Province of Aurora, Philippines. These books feature back-to-back stories from CANVAS, "Message in the Sand" and "My Big Sister Can See Dragons."
The Tiny Library Project filed this report, which we are sharing in its fuller and unedited version:

Casiguran is a seven-hour drive from Manila. To reach the Agta community, we had to haul books and supplies from land to banca and back to land again, braving the rising noontime tide of the largest water mass on the planet. Upon receiving their individual copies, the children eagerly opened their books to scan the glossy colored pages. 
 
A read aloud of the story Message in the Sand by Charmaine Aserappa was done by more advanced readers. Each volunteer read one page each of the Filipino version. This was intended to get them actively involved in reading and to have time to address important themes in the story. It also provided the chance to check comprehension and sustain engagement. At first, they were hesitant to read aloud but after providing gentle guidance with difficult words, many hands were raised thereafter. The younger readers followed silently as the story was read. Some just sat and listened.
 
The children were asked if they too wrote on sand and who could possibly read their messages. After some answers were given, the Tiny Library representative prodded them to think who else can read their messages in the sand. One boy took a few steps forward and answered “God!” He was the pastor’s son. After the read aloud, the children were given pens so they could write their own names on their books.

All of them said they never had a storybook and this was their very first personal copy. 

The Agtas in this particular community are hungry for learning and their thirst for knowledge is encouraged by the local pastor from Reaching Beyond Ministries. Despite being an Aeta from Zambales, his leadership is recognized. He is married to the daughter of the former chieftain and the sister of the current one. Husband and wife availed of DepEd’s Alternative Learning System (ALS). It was sad to realize that many children still grow up in an environment devoid of the printed text. This trip reaffirmed Tiny Library’s advocacy to bring books to places where access to reading materials is limited. The book giving activity was a reminder to everyone that people in the margins of society should never be forgotten and that reading literacy should be given priority.
After all, one can never underestimate the power of a book.
 
Dingalan:
 
For this group of readers, we focused on Rocky Tirona’s My Big Sister Can See Dragons.

Because of the continuous rainfall and the threat of an imminent river flood, there was no time for storytelling. Instead, we presented the book title and gave a motive question: “Can the big sister really see dragons?” This made the children immediately open their books to find out for themselves.

We went around and learned that majority never had a storybook at home.


We rely on partners like The Tiny Library Project to help us give away the tens of thousands of books that we give away each year, and to provide first hand feedback and affirmation on the genuine appreciation that children - as you've read, most of whom have never owned a storybook - have for books and reading. Children have a natural thirst for learning, and we know and believe that somehow our books are making a difference.


This would not be possible without your continued support and confidence in our work, and we in CANVAS, together with our partners and not least, all the children who benefit, are truly grateful.

Thank you!
Giving away books in Casiguran
Giving away books in Casiguran
Dingalan children waiting to receive their books
Dingalan children waiting to receive their books
The children with their new books
The children with their new books
Our storybooks help children learn to love books!
Our storybooks help children learn to love books!

Links:

Front and Back Covers for Karapat Dapat
Front and Back Covers for Karapat Dapat

This May, we will be launching our latest children's book, "Karapat Dapat" which is a bilingual book (Tagalog and Engish) about the rights of children.

For this project, CANVAS partnered with Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK), the Philippines' first and only association of children's book illustrators. Together, we sought inspiration from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to come up with a picture and activity book for very young readers.

We feel that it is a very timely and important book that parents and teachers will appreciate and also find useful. So far, the early response from organizations and companies that we are seeking additional help from has been very positive. So, together with your generous contributions, to date we have enough funds to publish at least 15,000 copies of "Karapat Dapat," all of which will be given children in public schools and disadvantaged communities throughout the country.

Below are some sample pages from the book.

We will keep you posted on our bookgiving activities in the coming months when we begin to distribute these books. But in advance, and on behalf of all the children who are benefitting from your continued generosity, we thank you very very much!

Book pages on the Rights to Rest and Play
Book pages on the Rights to Rest and Play
Page and Activity about the Right to Education
Page and Activity about the Right to Education
Book pages on the Right to a Safe Home
Book pages on the Right to a Safe Home
Sample Maze Activity
Sample Maze Activity
Color your world!
Color your world!
Book pages on the Right to Protection from Abuse
Book pages on the Right to Protection from Abuse
The children of Brgy. Lomboy
The children of Brgy. Lomboy

Late last year, a local TV program, Tapatan ni Tunying, featured an inspiring story about a small library in Barangay Lomboy in Dagupan, Pangasinan. Coincidentally, the producers had also contacted CANVAS to produce a segment on our bookgiving and children's literacy initiatives.

The connection was inevitable and led to the donation by CANVAS of 200 children's books to be given away to the children of Barangay Lomboy, as well as a set of our hardbound children's books for the library.

The pictures below speak for themselves, and Tapatan also produced another segment, which aired last December 29, to document the bookgiving event in the YouTube link below.

It was a great way to end 2017, and gives us great momentum to push forward in 2018.
We'd like to thank Tapatan, and all our partners throughout the year who helped to bring our books to the children. And we'd like to thank all of you for your continued and generous support! 

Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation.

Thank you again and a blessed New Year to all!

Local librarians giving away the books
Local librarians giving away the books
A child writes her name - she owns the book!
A child writes her name - she owns the book!
Why we do what we do.
Why we do what we do.
Happiness! :-)
Happiness! :-)
Finally, a  set of hardbounds for the library!
Finally, a set of hardbounds for the library!

Links:

The Tiny Library Project giving away our books
The Tiny Library Project giving away our books

As most of you are aware, CANVAS relies on various partners - individuals, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and others - who work directly with and in the beneficiary communities, to give away the many many children's books that we have published with your continuing and generous support.

This month, we give you this unedited report from The Tiny Library Project, a mobile library project that was created as a tribute of relatives and friends to the late Lt. Col. Tiny P. Perez. His, and the Project's touching story, follows below, after the report.

===============================

Book giving report by The Tiny Library Project
September 30, 2017
Barangays Caromangay and Lapaz-Tubog
Municipality of Hamtic, Province of Antique

"Not even the threat of a heavy downpour could dampen the enthusiasm and excitement of the children selected to be recipients of the book-giving activity of the Tiny Library team, supported by the Hamtic Municipal Police Station and its Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) officers and members on September 30, 2017.

The DepEd district supervisor and teachers chose to hold the book giving on a Saturday morning and requested the children to be in school for the event which started with a short speech about the reading advocacy of the Tiny Library by the mother of the late LtC Tiny Perez. She also introduced CANVAS and its 1Million Books for 1Million Filipino Children project. 

The book entitled Panyaan: Three Tales of the Tagbanua” were individually given to 49 school children belonging to grades 3 to 6 in Barangay Caromangay’s multi-grade school.

After receiving their individual copies of Panyaan, the kids were ushered back to their rooms. They were thrilled to learn that they can write their names as personal owners of their books and bring them home. Many of them never owned a book before this.

It was observed that the kids knew how to handle the books correctly. Many eagerly opened the glossy colored pages; one kid excitedly read aloud. As the team were about to leave, one child verbally expressed his joy in receiving the book. Barangay Caromangay is one of the 47 barangays comprising the Municipality of Hamtic in the Province of Antique. It is a mountain barangay along the national road that transverses the Provinces of Antique and Iloilo.

On the same day, 35 grade 3 students from Lapaz Elementary School received their personal copies of the same book. The school principal was jubilant as this public school do not have a library hence students do not have easy access to printed reading materials. The grade 3 teacher said she will ask the kids to bring their books to school for their daily Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) hour.

Another 16 kids residing in Sitio Guibongan were also provided their individual copies. Barangay Lapaz and Sitio Guibongan are coastal areas in the Municipality of Hamtic. Residents are mostly marginalized fishermen.

On hand to facilitate and assist the Tiny Library team were officers and men of the Hamtic Municipal Police Station and its Municipal Advisory Council officers and members which includes the DepEd District Supervisor Mrs. Nicolasura.

Aside from the books, the kids also received gifts such as raincoats, pencil case sets with pencils, erasers, and sharpeners, and snacks."

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About The TINY Library Project

The TINY Library project was born out of a hero's legacy to help children in areas of armed conflict value peace and understanding. 


Lt. Col Cristobal Julian Paolo “TINY” Pacificador Perez was the 45 year old commander of the 18th Infantry Battallion in Basilan. He believed that peace can be achieved if only the younger generation can be given the chance to know peace. He was a fierce fighter of the terrorists while he led and protected his men in battle. He pushed them and encouraged them that every battle fought is for peace, for God and country (Deo y Patria). 

Tiny started many projects especially for the children in war-torn areas. He has helped communities start small libraries and encouraged children in a sports football program. He believed that keeping the children in school and engaging in positive activities will keep them from being recruited as soldiers among the ASG. He knew that these activities will keep the children occupied with their time while school and books will make the children achieve their dreams of a better life – a life of peace. 

Tiny was gunned down in his home on June 19, 2016 on Father's Day. Too young to go and too good to be forgotten. His family and friends and all those whose lives he touched vowed that his legacy should be kept alive. He may be gone, but his good works will always be remembered. 

The TINY Library Project is that promise. 

Consisting of around 300 storybooks and reference books, the TINY Library is a mobile library cabinet that will be filled with 40% curated books on values such as Peace, Harmony and Understanding Cultural Diversity and 60% will be storybooks preferably by Filipino authors. Educational toys and huggable stuffed dolls will also be included in the library cabinet. Reference books on storytelling and peace activity sessions for teachers or soldier volunteers will also be available.

The TINY Library will be installed in military camps and community schools experiencing armed conflict. Teachers and volunteer soldiers will be given training on storytelling and facilitating peace sessions for the children. 

A hero's legacy lives on. . .

The children write their names on their books.
The children write their names on their books.

Links:

Giving away the books in Diliman!
Giving away the books in Diliman!

Last May 6, 2017, we successfully launched our latest children's book.

As we had shared in our previous report, late last year, we sent a team of writers, photographers and artists to the island of Palawan to learn about and document the culture of the Tagbanuas, one of the oldest indigenous tribes in the Philippines. Partnering with the ECOFISH (Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries) Project of USAID, we listened as elders and leaders of the Tagbanuas shared their history, culture, dreams, hopes and everyday lives.

“Panyaan: Three Tales of the Tagbanua” (authors: Rhandee Garlitos and Annette Ferrer; artist: Sergio Bumatay III) is the book that emerged from this creative process. It is a collection of three original children’s stories that, while fictional, are all based on the traditions, surroundings and heritage of the Tagbanuas. All are rooted in stories that have been handed from generation to generation of proud Tagbanuas.

5,000 copies of the book were published, and these are now being distributed to children and communities in the Philippines.

Our partner, ECOFISH, for one, distributed 1,200 copies to 60 people's organizations and communities across the marine key biodiversity areas where they work, namely: South Negros, Danahon Reef in Bohol, Lingayen Gulf, Verde Island Passage in Batangas, Tawi-Tawi in the Sulu Archipleago, Surigao del Norte, Sorsogon, and Northern Samar. 

Rina Rosales, a Senior Resource Economics Specialist of ECOFISH and the point person with whom CANVAS worked on this project, shared how the children treasured the books and how touched she was seeing the wonder and joy that could be seen on their faces as they received their very own copies of "Panyaan."

ECOFISH also allocated another 500 copies exclusively for the Tagbanuas.

Then, in June, Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. again joined CANVAS in a bookgiving activity for 100 children in Diiman, Quezon City. Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Chanel Olive Thomas and Binibining Pilipinas International Mariel De Leon took time out of their busy schedules and enchanted the spellbound children as they read the stories from the book.

Early this July, CANVAS also gave away copies of the book to around 80 children at the Philippine Children's Medical Center.

Finally, hundreds of copies are already committed for children in other communities, including the evacuation centers in Marawi City in Mindanao where thousands of people have been displaced by the ongoing conflict in the area. 

We will continue to keep you posted on this initiative in the coming months. In the meantime, again, on behalf of the children and communities that have benefited from the books, we thank all of you for your continuing support and generosity! 

Mabuhay!

Storytelling and bookgiving in Coron
Storytelling and bookgiving in Coron
Storytelling with Bb Pilipinas beauties!
Storytelling with Bb Pilipinas beauties!
Bookgiving at the Children
Bookgiving at the Children's Medical Center!
Bookreading at the children
Bookreading at the children's hospital.
The artist and authors behind "Panyaan".
The artist and authors behind "Panyaan".

Links:

 

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Organization Information

The Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS)

Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila - Philippines
Website: http:/​/​www.canvas.ph
Project Leader:
Gigo Alampay
Quezon City, Metro Manila Philippines

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