Saturday, November 20, 2010

Philippine Daily Inquirer's Read-Along: Encouraging kids to Love Reading

My Grandma used to say, "A child who READS is a child who LEADS." As a child, she would often set aside story time with me despite being busy with household chores and working as an employee in a governement agency. At that time, I didn't understand its importance, all I knew was that she would read to me my favorite stories as a way to make me go to sleep at night or take my afternoon naps. She would read to me stories from the bible, fables, fairy tales and sometimes, she'd even make up her own story especially if I seemed bored.

I have to thank my Grandma because she had instilled in my young mind the love for reading. Unfortunately, nowadays with numerous ways to while away one's time, kids are more into TV or play their PSP, chat on the net, use game consoles or text on their mobile phones. They no longer have the time to sit back and skim a book and enjoy reading in the truest sense of word.

It was such a good thing that there were people who never stop encouraging kids to take up a book and read, not only as a requirement in class but also for pleasure. Hats-off to The Philippine Daily Inquirer for creating the Inquirer Read-Along. The project that started some years ago aims to encourage kids as young as Grade 1 to love reading. They would invite celebrity guests as story-tellers for a day, giving them the opportunity to share their talents and at the same time making the story-telling fun for children.

We had the chance to go to the Read-Along session last November 6, 2010, held at the Inquirer office on Chino Roces in Makati. Actor, Comedian and Impersonator Jon Santos was the featured celebrity guest for that day. He first came as President Noynoy Aquino to the delight of the kids. In fact, the younger ones thought he was actually the President in flesh. But the older kids who knew who he was, couldn't stop giggling and was laughing out loud.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje also graced the event and explained to the kid audience on how they could help save mother earth on their own little way.
The Sophia School Storytellers also brought the house down when they read and acted "Sina Dilat, Kindat, Kurap at Pikit." Jon Santos came back later and read some more stories from Adarna Books; "Ang Bisita Ni Haya" and the latest Adarna book "Mahabang, mahabang,mahaba".
The kids truly enjoyed the Read-Along session. What we loved about the Inquirer office was the library. It was probably the only library that was kid-friendly. It has a wide collection of children's books, there was even a children's reading-area where you could see comfortable bean bags in pastel colors.
The Inquirer library also had a project called "Books for Books" where a child could trade in his old books for other used books that he liked. They even have a Junior Inquirer Club, where membership is free and there are a whole lot of activities lined up for its members. They'd even get invited to special events and they're always welcome to attend Read-Along sessions.

Inquirer's Read-Along sessions are held every second and last Saturdays of the month. Pre-registration is a must. First come, first served basis. Please call 897-8808 local 329 and look for Ms. Ellen Caparos or Ms. Girlie Refran for details. You may also read Junior Inquirer, every Saturday. It's never too late to get your kids into reading. I guarantee, your kids will enjoy the sessions. What's more, they even get lots and freebies. It's like hitting two birds with one stone: getting them to love reading while they're learning and having fun.

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