Parent Leaders and Parent Readers

One of the cornerstones of Synergeia’s approach toward education is the fostering of a genuine love of reading. When Synergeia conducts its Remedial Reading training workshops to principals and teachers, they always remind participants of the power of storytelling and how important it is to read stories to children because of the benefits that it sows. Aside from honing comprehension skills and building vocabulary, Synergeia believes there is much merit to be found in reading such as learning empathy and sharpening critical thinking – all of which are skills that should be built from a young age.

A love of reading does not solely come from the classroom, though. Love of reading must also be nurtured at home. Parents are also instrumental in rearing their kids and ensuring they learn well and while the children are important, Synergeia heavily involves the parents in the learning process also. A love of reading has to be fostered in parents too so that it can be passed on. This lesson was one of those that was touched during the parent-leaders training workshop held in Dao.

Last December, Parents from Dao municipality attended a half-day workshop on being a parent leader. There were many activities that asked parents to look into themselves as parents and taught how to listen better to their children. The workshop was punctuated by a storytelling session with the parents. Rather than read an excerpt from a longer novel, the parents read along to a short children’s book, “I Love You Forever,” by Robert Munsch. “I Love You Forever,” is a short work about a mother’s enduring love for her son throughout the years. Parents were able to connect with the mom and relate to the relationship she had with her son. Even Vice Mayor Otic Eslaban shared that she got teary-eyed while the story was being told.

The simple story also raised a lot of questions among the parents such as if a mother’s love for her child was really meant to last forever, an if love was truly unconditional despite the child’s shortcomings. The mothers in the audience shared stories about being patient with their children and also shared their anxieties about being enough for their kids. In such a short time, the story garnered a huge emotional response from the participants!

Parents that did read to their children said that the stories they commonly read were stories from the bible, while remembering Juan Tamad tales from their own younger days. After the session on storytelling, they too felt the effects of a good story on them – empathy, forming relationships with characters, and seeing how themes in the stories play out in their own lives. Also, story time is also bonding time for parents and their kids, and will enrich their relationship. We look forward to hearing more about the reading adventures that the Dao parents will be taking with their kids.