Laguna BelAir School (Philippines) and their involvement in our WaterBridge Outreach Project ~ Part 1
This promises to be a special week here on the blog as we spend the next few days highlighting feedback from one of our WaterBridge Outreach participants: Laguna BelAir School in Santa Rosa City, Philippines.
Our WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water Nourishing the Mind and Body program (formerly known as Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach) seeks to further the overall goals of the PaperTigers Program: bridging cultures and opening minds, promoting greater understanding and empathy among young people from different backgrounds, countries, and ethnicities. More specifically, WBOutreach works to advance education through books and reading, and development through clean and accessible water.
Since 2009, the “Books” portion of WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water has seen us put specially chosen book sets into the hands of young readers through schools and libraries, encouraging literacy, developing understanding and making reading a lifelong habit. Each year’s set is comprised of books that we feel provide “multicultural” or “trans-cultural” stories that promote awareness of, knowledge about, and positive acceptance of “the other” in ways children can learn and enjoy. We are convinced of the crucial role of literacy and reading in an education that fosters understanding and empathy.
Laguna BelAir School has participated in our Book Set program for the past 3 years under the guidance of the school’s amazing head librarian, Ms. Vin Del Rosario. Using the books Ms. Del Rosario implemented an inspiring reading program for her students in grades 2 to 6. Ms. Del Rosario writes:
You have chosen quality book sets, books that contain values that are important to us. It was easy for us to share the books with our students as the stories and illustrations “capture” our students’ interests.
I initiated the PaperTigers reading program to create an avenue to encourage our students to read the books in a fun way. It is also the library’s way of helping the English subject teachers to get feedback on the PaperTigers books.
This reading program is a class effort. It encourages class participation. The more these students read in a class, the faster they can reach their reading goal. Reading points were assigned to different PaperTigers books. Class advisers and Reading teachers encourage students to participate in the reading program.
The students visit the library to read the PaperTigers books during their snacks and lunch break. After reading a book, the student is given a “book completion form”, which is a small piece of paper with two or three questions about the book. Students earn points for each form they complete and are awarded a “mini book certificate”.
Originally, I had intended to run the reading program up to November 2012. However, due to the overwhelming responses of the students, we completed it by the end of September!
We’ve been posting Laguna BelAir’s written feedback on the book sets on our Outreach page here. Earlier this month we received this video from the school. Such a thrill for us to see the students and staff of the school engaging with the books we sent and I think we can all agree that Ms. Del Rosario’s reading program was a HUGE success! Enjoy!