2. Enriching Learning in and out of the School
Village Reading Program
As part of the learning enrichment system of the Zero Non-Reader Program, Credit Suisse in partnership with Synergeia Foundation, Inc. and Museo Pambata conducted a Village Reading workshop for 200 teachers, parents and barangay leaders of MLQES last March 11, 2008.
The workshop was facilitated Mr. Jay Menes from Alitaptap Storytellers with Mr. Curtiss Lim and Ms. Charlotte Cachuela from the Museo Pambata. Mr. Ando Antolin, Mr. Dindo Guevara and Ms. Trissa Manalastas of Synergeia Foundation were also present to provide assistance and support.
The Village Reading Workshop started with an interactive discussion on the importance of reading and storytelling – how it stimulates the children’s imagination and widens their understanding; how it fosters attentive listening, thus improving their listening skills; how it aids comprehension and expands their vocabulary as new words are introduced; and how it serves to inculcate values.
Mr. Menes gave a demonstration of the different techniques in the art storytelling and provided a step-by-step guide on what to consider in organizing and conducting storytelling sessions in the community. The participants were briefed on the different factors to take into account in choosing the right story, tools which can make a good storyteller and how to organize a village reading session.
In addition, he drew attention to the need in engaging and interacting with children/students through questions to develop further their cognitive skills and be part of the cocreation process through personal realizations.
The participants were given opportunities to demonstrate the new skills and strategies they learned through a short story-telling session using Museo Pambata books. It was a joy to see parents tell stories with gusto and to see barangay kagawads creatively use varying voice intonations in narration. Teachers were impressed and remarked that they had not known there was such talent in the community!
To enrich the storytelling sessions, an arts and crafts workshop was conducted to show the participants how to prepare visual materials using simple art materials. They were shown how to make paper puppets, with just the use of colorful papers and craft paper bags, and each worked hands-on for their own puppets. Some school children also joined the arts and crafts workshop and their creativity stood out as they busied themselves in embellishing their creations.
From the feedback received, the participants greatly benefited from the workshops and are very pleased to have joined the endeavor. The experience was found to be enjoyable and it showed them how the storytelling exercise could be made more interesting and exciting for children. It also highlighted how village reading sessions could help strengthen home/school relationships.