Give Books to Children in the Philippines

by The Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS)
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Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Reading together in Northern Samar
Reading together in Northern Samar

Books Given Away in 2021

Despite the challenges the pandemic has hurled at us -- travel restrictions that change from month to month, our staff or partners getting exposed to COVID, and ever-adjusting timelines -- we are happy to report that our literacy campaign was able to give away 35,525 books in 2021, reaching children as far as Cebu and Northern Samar.

We ended 2021 with a total of 420,814 books given away! 

New Titles

We also published a new book I Am the Change in Climate Change that explains this phenomenon in child-friendly language. But what is more, it also maps out ways in which children can also help respond to the climate crisis, even in small ways. We are currently working on a Filipino translation of the book that is due to come out this year.

Similarly, we published translations of our books on internet safety and identifying fake news from fact. These are Safe Space: Pambatang Gabay sa Gawain Online in Filipino and a Cebuano translation of #YOUTHink: Pildiha ang Fake News. We understand that materials in one's mother tongue can improve children's ability to learn and understand, and so we have been making an extra effort to make these translations available. 

Internet safety, being critical about information we accept, and understanding climate change -- these are all timely and relevant topics. We are proud and happy to involve young readers in this discussion. Already, they have started leading the way.

Thank you for your continued and generous support for our project! Your contributions make us able to do what we do. Our hope is to publish and give away more books to children nationwide this 2022!

Books in time for Christmas, Batangas
Books in time for Christmas, Batangas
Climate Change books for kids, Batangas
Climate Change books for kids, Batangas
Sending our books to Salinlahi Youth in Marikina
Sending our books to Salinlahi Youth in Marikina
Partner 2KK distributes our books with distancing
Partner 2KK distributes our books with distancing
One of our new titles
One of our new titles

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Manila Mayor and Vice Mayor receive the books
Manila Mayor and Vice Mayor receive the books

As a lean organization with a big dream -- giving away one million books to one million Filipino children -- we definitely look to our community for support. Partnerships with local government and like-minded organizations and individuals are key to reaching children who can benefit most from the story and activity books that we publish. 

Last July, after many setbacks due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, we were finally able to turn over 2,000 books to the City of Manila. Our project donated 1,000 copies of #YOUTHink: Fight Fake News and 1,000 copies each of Safe Space: A Kid’s Guide to Data Privacy in both English and Filipino to be given away to children in Manila that lack access to books and educational materials. A set of hard bound CANVAS storybooks, mostly winning stories from the Romeo Forbes Children’s Story Writing Competition, were also donated to Manila’s Libraries.

The turn over coincided with National Children’s Book Day that is celebrated every third Tuesday of July.

Similarly, Salinlahi Alliance for Children's Concerns, a non-stock, non-profit national alliance, distributed 400 books of various titles to their communities in Marikina City. Our partner distributed the books from house-to-house or in open-air common areas such as the community's barangay halls. They told us that "Most of the children who received Sino Si Juan (an activity book) immediately grabbed their crayons and amusedly added color to the black and white illustrations."

Our project turned over 1,500 books to Salinlahi in April (300 of Karapat Dapat: Child, Know Your Rights, 300 of Sino Si Juan, and 900 of #YOUTHink: Fight Fake News). They are continuing their book-giving efforts and we are eager to hear how this goes. 

As of this writing, we have given away 408,830 books to children all over the Philippines -- we are at 40% of our goal 1,000,000. Thank you very much for your generous support and encouragement! 

Salinlahi Youth receive books at their houses
Salinlahi Youth receive books at their houses
Thank you signs and smiles behind masks.
Thank you signs and smiles behind masks.

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Comembo Elementary School prepares kids' modules.
Comembo Elementary School prepares kids' modules.

Thanks to your generous and continued support for our literacy program, we have donated 10,490 books (various titles) to children all over the Philippines since the start of this year, 2021. Our goal is to donate at least 50,000 books this year through our One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign.

As of this writing, we have donated a total of 395,779 books since the start of our project.

# # #

Now that we are into the second year of the pandemic, we have become accustomed to many shifts in our daily lives. With many activities, work and schooling especially, having shifted online, we've found that our two newest books on internet safety, Safe Space: A Kid's Guide to Data Privacy and #YouThink: Fight Fake News, have become even more important. Geared towards ages 6-12 and 12 to 18 respectively, these two books break down internet safety and misinformation concepts into child-friendly language and empower children with the skills and sensitivity that will help them protect themselves as they navigate the web.

This May, we were able to give 1,024 copies of Safe Space and 1,024 copies of #YouThink to Comembo Elementary School. As COVID-19 protocol for schools now goes, the books were included in the children's weekly modules that are picked up by their parents or guardians. Just a few days after receiving their books, their teachers thought to use them in their class discussions on navigating the internet safely and responsibly!

AHA Learning Center, a non-profit that runs an after-school learning program, also received copies of Safe Space for their students and teachers, and has also connected us to other schools and communities in their network. 

We are also proud to report that Safe Space has also been awared Privacy Initiative of 2021 given by the National Privacy Commission.

# # #

Other book-giving highlights include:

- Children in Tanay, Rizal receiving copies of Sino si Juan which were brought over by members of the University of the Philippines-Diliman National Institute of Geological Sciences as they did their fieldwork there.

- Aeta children, indigenous peoples in Zambales, also received their Christmas gifts of My Super Hands through the Tuloy ang Pasko sa Zambales (Christmas Continues in Zambales) project of our partners Para sa Sining and The Storytelling Project. Initially scheduled for December 2020, COVID-19 restrictions hampered their distribution, but with their tenacity, the children finally received their books in April 2021.

- We also gave copies of our children's rights books Karapat Dapat to fellow non-profits 2KK (Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid Foundation), SOS Children's Villages, and Virlanie Foundation. 

Discussing "Safe Space" in the classroom.
Discussing "Safe Space" in the classroom.
More activities for kids: bike, play, read!
More activities for kids: bike, play, read!
Belated Christmas gifts for Zambales children
Belated Christmas gifts for Zambales children
Thank you for this honor!
Thank you for this honor!

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Our four new titles!
Our four new titles!

With your support and generosity, the 1 Million Books for 1 Million Children Campaign has been able to donate nearly 400,000 books to date to children all over the Philippines! Our thanks, too, to our partners on the ground who help us physically distribute our books to communities that need them.

***

NEW TITLES

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Philippines in the first quarter of 2020. On March 15, the Philippine government declared a lockdown that would last three months. At this time, CANVAS continued to work on other projects, but was still trying to figure out how to continue its book distribution campaign. By August, the Campaign began distributing books again, implementing safety protocols at our office such as a skeletal work force, masking, distancing, and sanitizing.

Despite the hurdles 2020 threw at us, the Campaign was able to distribute a total of 35,289 books through its partner organizations and volunteers. This is about 10,000 more books compared to last year! The total number of books donated since the beginning of the Campaign is now at 385,289. We hope to breach the 500,000-mark in the next two years.

We were also able to publish four new books in 2020 as part of our Campaign. These include: 

1) I Am the Storyteller that uses images and questions as writing prompts for children; 

2) My Super Hands, a book that includes children in the COVID-19 discussion and maps out activities that they can still do despite the major life changes brought about by the pandemic;

3) Safe Space: A Kid's Guide to Data Privacy, an activity book that introduces the concept of personal data to children ages 6 to 12 and teaches them how to protect themselves when online; and

4) #YouThink: Fight Fake News, published in a zine format, that helps children (and even adults) spot and unpack false information and the many forms it takes such as misleading information, fake photos, and deep fakes. 

We are so happy and proud to have these new titles to give away to children nationwide to help them tap into their creative sides or find their way in an increasingly digital/online world. We could not have done this without your generous support!

***

COMMUNITIES REACHED

Our partnerships -- with small private groups, NGOs, local government units and agencies -- on the ground are truly instrumental to the campaign. They tune us into communities that could benefit from our books and often do the physical driving and trekking to reach them! 

Just some of our highlights for 2020:

Our books reached children displaced by the Taal volcano eruption with the help of CANVAS' Ibaan Team, Artletics art collective, and Southern Tagalog Serve the People Corps, pre-pandemic. Sultan Esmael Elementary school in Cavite, where there is a population of urban muslim minorities, received copies of Karapat Dapat. 

Post-lockdown, we also gave 1,000 copies each of Karapat Dapat -- our children's rights books -- and I Am the Storyteller to urban poor communities through the Office of the Vice President and Ako Bakwit, while partnering with the municipal government of Alcala, Cagayan made it possible for us to distribute 3,500 copies of I Am the Storyteller to 26 public schools in their area. All 19 Quezon City public libraries now also have a collection of hardbound CANVAS books for their visitors, proudly displayed on their shelves.

 2021 PLANS

Our experience in 2020 has proven that the pandemic may have made book-giving more challenging, but in no way has it made it impossible. We are inspired and motivated to distribute at least 50,000 books this year to various communities in the Philippines! We hope we can rely on your continuing support!

A CANVAS collection at the QC public libraries
A CANVAS collection at the QC public libraries
At an evacuation center, reading books together
At an evacuation center, reading books together
The Office of the Vice President and our books
The Office of the Vice President and our books
Muslim Minorities in Cavite receive Karapat Dapat!
Muslim Minorities in Cavite receive Karapat Dapat!

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We are thrilled to announce that The White Ravens list for 2020 has been announced, and that on of our books, "Karapat dapat: Bata, Alamin ang Iyong Mga Karapatan! (Child, Know Your Rights!)" by May Tobias Papa, and brought to life by the illustrators of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, has been selected as among the 200 best children's and young adult's literature books of 2020 - IN THE WORLD.

The White Ravens list is an annual catalogue of book recommendations in the field of international children’s and youth literature, put together by the International Youth Library. The list is published just prior to the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest trade fair for books, based both on the number of publishing companies represented, and the number of visitors.

The selections are made by the language specialists of the International Youth Library with the assistance of children’s book experts from all over the world. The books are selected for the list on the basis of the universal relevance of the topics, their literary and pictorial qualities, or their innovative approaches or design. The recommendation list aims to promote quality in children's books and has become an increasingly useful tool for those interested in looking beyond national borders.

Here is their description for the book:
"The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which served as the inspiration for this book, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989. In spite of being ratified by the Philippines a year later, the publishers see it as necessary to take a stand and educate Filipino children about their rights at a time where the very value of human rights is questioned. All the convention's 54 articles are re-written in child-friendly language. Selected passages directly address young readers and are beautifully illustrated by the country's best book illustrators. Readers find extra pages interleaved that can be coloured in or used as game boards. This book is the fruit of the collaboration between CANVAS, a non-profit organization that promotes children's literacy and runs the One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children campaign to donate books to disadvantaged communities, and 21 members of Ang INK, the Philippines' children's book illustrators organization. (Age: 6+)"
This recognition was made possible by the continued support and belief in our mission of people like you. Thank you very much! This honor is as much yours as ours. :-)


Some of the members of AngINK
Some of the members of AngINK

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Organization Information

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

Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila - Philippines
Website:
Project Leader:
Gigo Alampay
Quezon City, Metro Manila Philippines
$40,586 raised of $75,000 goal
 
1,557 donations
$34,414 to go
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