Posted by: alcantarafoundation | July 7, 2011

Reading program owes its success to volunteers

Teacher Rosemarie Abrea and her 2nd grade students at PH MIllona Elementary in Malapatan, Sarangani

KIAMBA, Sarangni (June 3, 2011) – Sarangani Big Brother (SBB), a summer reading program intended for “frustration readers” all over the province, was made successful through volunteer youth and members of the Sangguniang Kabataan.

The program is in partnership with the province’s Quality Education for Sarangani Today (QUEST), Department of Education (DepEd), Synergeia Foundation, Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc., Sagittarius Mines, Inc., and World Vision.

“I was very impressed by the idea,” guest speaker and Davao City Councilor Dr. Bernardo Al-ag said. Al-ag, an optometrist, has been a volunteer for medical and civic activities since the 90s.

“Reading is really important and community participation very crucial. A volunteer has no regression and has full devotion. It improves your character, competence, health, and relationships,” Al-ag said.

Governor Migs Dominguez reported that Sarangani Big Brother Season 4 has taught a total of 7,631 “frustration readers” provincial-wide, with 771 youth volunteers, 175 volunteer provincial-paid teachers and 146 DepEd teachers.

Frustration readers are those who can identify words but have inadequate or no comprehension at all.

“We are the best improved province in the country in terms of education,” Dominguez said. “If all the provinces in the country can do this as well, our nation has a brighter future.”

SBB is a 15-day whole-day remedial reading program designed to assist the Department of Education in improving reading skills among incoming Grade 2 and Grade 3 learners identified as frustration and instructional readers.

Teachers were given one-day training on strategies to ensure their children are better readers after 15 days while the SK volunteers manage the daily sessions and assist the teachers.

SBB aims to reduce the number of non-readers and instructional readers by providing a four-week reading program for at-risk schoolchildren; develop strengthened relationship between schools and their partners in the community; raise awareness in the community that education is a community concern, instill the value of volunteerism among the youth, and develop leadership among youth leaders.

At the culmination program, the sponsors awarded the best implementing school, Kawas Central Elementary School in Alabel town, with P20,000 prize.

“SBB taught me to become someone – to be a builder of this nation. I learned to embrace the beauty of imparting knowledge,” volunteer John Logos Guiang from Maitum town said.

“True, it may not be enough, but I believe we have done something by inspiring them the value of education,” Guiang said.

“If you volunteer, you give service willingly,” volunteer Trent Laurence Galvez from Malungon town said.

Principal of pilot integrated school, Datal Batong Integrated School in the hinterlands of Malungon, Marilyn Falsario said she had four volunteer teachers at the SBB.

“We conducted a pre-test post-test evaluation of our frustration readers and they really improved. They now read much faster and are already independent readers,” Falsario said.

Datal Batong Integrated School pilots all integrated elementary-high schools among the province’s farthest communities designed by the provincial government to minimize dropouts and discontinuing pupils from elementary to high school.

The two-day activity includes a debate and story-telling contest, open space learning, search for Mr. and Ms. SBB 2011 and SBB pop singing quest.


Originally published by Russtum G. Pelima of the Sarangani Public Information Office on June 2, 2011

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