Saturday, November 22, 2008

Interactive storytelling in Naga City

I did not attend my Saturday class in UP to give way with the Inquirer Read-A-Thon which selects the Naga City Library as one of venue outside Metro Manila. I did not hesitate to accept the request since it will make the library more sensible to the Naga residents, and obviously, this is an opportune time that Raul Roco Library will be features in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Anyway, this is one that I cullred from the Philippine Daily Inquirer writter by Juan Escandor Jr. and Posted date: December 11, 2008

NAGA CITY – For two years now, the Children’s Bookfest Program of the Raul S. Roco Library (RSR Library) in Naga City has been developing the habit of reading among preschoolers in “educare” (education day care) centers and elementary pupils of up to Grade 2.

Federico Vinluan, the librarian, said the program would select readers of children’s books among local officials, academicians and members of the business community and civic organizations. They would then explain the benefits of reading to the young listeners.

So, when the Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.NET) proposed to hold its Read-Along session at the RSR Library inside the City Hall compound, Vinluan gladly welcomed it as a boost to its own book-reading program.

The Inquirer event on Saturday was launched simultaneously in Baguio, Talisay and Davao cities as part of the newspaper’s thrust to develop love for reading among children outside Metro Manila.
Touching hearts, minds“It has touched the hearts and minds of 70 pupils at the same time that it boosted our continuing book reading campaign here, having for its guest readers a beauty queen and a book author,” Vinluan said.

The library’s children’s section on the ground floor was a perfect venue. Its walls are painted with bright-colored murals and illustrations on the wall, including the planetary system.

A raised platform, where the reader’s chair was placed, faced the children, mostly students from the Concepcion Pequeña Elementary School, who were seated comfortably on the blue rubber mats.

The participants enjoyed the hour-long interactive storytelling, answering questions tossed to them for rewards. Judy Ann, a Grade 5 pupil, said she loved the group activity.

When Chito de la Vega, Inquirer Libre editor, laid down the “rules” of the Read-Along – listening, avoiding distractive movements and cooperating to create an enjoyable learning experience for everyone – the children readily responded in unison: “Opo!” (Yes, sir!).

In his inspirational talk, Mayor Jesse Robredo enjoined the children to develop the reading habit so they could learn things that are useful in actual life.

StorytellersKristian Sendon Cordero, a Palanca awardee and Bicol fictionist, poet and book author, read the first story, “Munting Patak Ulan” (“Little Raindrop” by Gloria Villaraza Guzman) about the journey of a tiny raindrop from the clouds to the land, rivers and dams – an allegory on the importance of water to life.

Cordero engaged the youngsters by asking them to raise their hands if they had taken a bath in the rain in their lifetime. Almost all did and answered “Opo!” Nice, another Grade 5 pupil, loved the story, “Emang Engkantada at Ang Tatlong Haragan (“Ema the Enchantress and the Three Brats” by Rene Villanueva),” which was read by Maria Venus Raj, Miss Philippine Eco-Tourism 2008. The reading was “nicely done,” she said.

Raj paused several times to ask for feedback from her audience, giving clues and repeating answers about the story of Pat Kalat, Pol Putol and Paz Waldas, who ran into the beautiful place of the fairy, destroyed and wasted everything on their path until Emang Engkantada punished them.

In the end, the three changed their ways and became responsible children, helping protect and preserve the environment.

ComprehensionAbel, a Grade 6 pupil, said the activity was challenging and tested their ability to comprehend.
Excitement swept the crowd when the Jollibee mascot came in, dancing to hip-hop music. The food chain treated the children to lunch after the Read-Along formally ended.

Vinluan said the presence of personalities and celebrities had been effective in attracting participants and heightening the library’s reading-habit advocacy. Its regular storyteller, Roco’s widow Sonia, reads to children every August and October.

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