National Reading month theme: “Nasa Pagbasa ang Pag-asa” (In Literacy Lies Hope)
This November, Woods and Books joins the rest of the Philippines in celebrating National Reading Month. This month’s theme is: “Nasa Pagbasa ang Pag-asa” (In Literacy Lies Hope).
We at Woods and Books consider ourselves new recruits to the nationwide literacy movement. Nevertheless, we celebrate every small inroad we make under our own steam on our own Little-Engine-that-Could. Like the Little Engine, we’re tiny, but quite determined.
Last month, one of our book boxes filled with books collected by Ms. Dianna Smith of Orangevale, California and toys from the Rojo family of SoCal, finally made their way to Kalibo, Aklan, and into the hands of kindergartners of the newly-opened parochial school of St. John the Baptist Cathedral.
“Thank you very much for the gifts. Malipayon gid ang mga bata sa mga books kag toys (The children were very happy with the books and toys),” says parish priest, Fr. Jose Estolloso. “The children are from poor families in the parish. We’re really grateful!”
The one room-kindergarten school was built through the efforts of The Lamb Shall Lead International, a charitable organization first incorporated in the Philippines under the leadership of Rev. Jose Talaoc, bishop of Romblon, Philippines. Two years later, it was incorporated in Louisiana, USA, and granted a license to operate as a charity.
Meanwhile, back in Iloilo City, tireless volunteer Ai, along with equally supportive hubby, Casi, distributed donated books to other wee ones at the newly-opened Barangay Monica library in Lapuz, and at the Barangay San Isidro Day Care Center in Jaro.
It’s been 20 years since R
It’s been 20 years since Republic Act 7743 was enacted, providing for the establishment of city and municipal libraries, as well as reading centers throughout the Philippines. Clearly, in Barangay San Monica, hardworking local leaders took the law and their community’s needs very seriously.
Another Iloilo City community that caught our eye was Barangay San Isidro. Bgy. Captain Felix Doreza and Bgy. Kagawad Rene Dimasu-ay helped facilitate our distribution of 100 books to the day care center.
“The barangay was very thankful for our donation,” reports volunteer Ai. “The site was just their temporary classroom. Their old day care center burned down in January and nothing was left. All their books and other materials given by Rotary and other donors are gone. So, it was just great timing that Woods and Books donated books!”
Great timing. For children, any day, any time, with a book is perfect timing. We at Woods and Books could only hope to continue bringing them books in the years ahead. For, as current Philippine Secretary of Education Armin Luisitro says, “Books take you anywhere in the world…They can give us anything we can imagine.” Amen to that!