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Monday, June 8, 2015

Thank you Collins Elementary!

We filled our trunk.
There are more books inside.
Mikey is so happy to be sitting next to boxes of books.
These books will be sitting in my garage until we are able to send them to the Philippines.

Today, my husband and I hauled a big load of books from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thank you so much to Ms. Carol Ullery of Collins Elementary who saw my listing on Craigslist and contacted me if I was interested in the books they are about to discard. To make a long story short, we got it! These books will probably fill one balikbayan box. We are waiting for more books from our prospective donors. Please help us send these books to the Philippines by sending in your cash donations

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Potential Beneficiary: Guitasin Elementary School

These are some of the pictures taken during the Healthcare and Education Outreach Mission conducted in Sitio Guitasin Kaong, Silang, Cavite, Philippines, back in 2014. We want to go back there to donate some books and possibly additional shelves and furnitures (tables and chairs) for their library.

Balikbayan Boxes

Balikbayan boxes come in Standard Box size of 24 x 18 x 18 inches or about 4.5 cubic feet and Jumbo Box size of 24 x 18 x 24 and may cost from $80-$100 per box regardless of the weight. It may take 3-6 months for the delivery of the boxes to its destination in the Philippines.

Monday, June 1, 2015

What this Blog is all about

This blog was created because there are concerned individuals who can no longer stand the poverty that has befallen our people. Okay, that's pretty ambiguous. Here is what I really mean. My friend, Maricon has shared with me about a project she has in mind. She wanted to start a public library in a small town in Silang, Cavite, Philippines. This is because there is zero, nada, zilch public library in that small town and in fact the whole town of Silang, Cavite (at least none that I know of). There might be small libraries in schools where a few number of antiquated and beat-up books are housed. Kids might or might not have access to these books for some reason. In short, reading is not a priority in most public schools, towns and homes, except when it's time to cram for exams in college. You get the point.
Maricon and I just thought maybe we could do something about this. Doesn’t have to be big, we could start small. Maybe we could start by donating books to elementary schools. Depending on the vigor of our potential donors, we could soon start this community library.
Why do we want to donate books to children? Educators can't prove enough that success in reading increases children’s vocabulary and verbal fluency not to mention it directly affects children's school achievement. That means if a child is a good reader, chances are, that child also excels in science, math, social studies and overall academics.
Here is an excerpt drawn from a review of the research literature about the effects of independent reading on school achievement and the identification of common factors in programs designed to promote independent reading by Bernice E. Cullinan, New York. *

“Independent reading is the kind students choose to do on their own; it is not assigned or assessed, but it has a positive effect on learning and school achievement. Research about the effects of independent reading on school achievement and programs planned to promote it demonstrates these common factors:

The amount of free reading done outside of school has consistently been found to relate to achievement in vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal fluency, and general information. Students’ reading achievement correlates with success in school and the amount of independent reading they do (Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding 1988; Guthrie and Greaney 1991; Krashen 1993; Cunningham and Stanovich 1991; Stanovich and Cunningham 1993)….

The preschool years are crucial ones for children’s language and literacy development (Baghban 1984; Clay 1991; Durkin 1966; Heath
1983; Ninio and Bruner 1978; Snow 1996).

• Library programs are founded on the knowledge that literacy experiences have a lasting effect on language growth, reading development, and scholastic achievement (ALSC 1996; ALA 1996; Bridge and Carney 1994; Towey 1990).”
•Common features of effective programs designed to promote reading in schools, homes, and libraries include access to varied material that appeals to all ages and tastes, active parent involvement, partnerships among community institutions, and collaboration among significant adults in students’ lives.

To read more click on the link at the end of post.

Here’s the point. Filipino children do not have access to books for them to read outside the classroom. Oh, yeah, they are given textbooks to read and memorize. That’s about the exposure to books I had when I was in grade school in the Philippines. I never knew there were books other than textbooks (which were really boring since most of them were printed in black and white, and let’s admit it textbooks were not written to entertain the readers) until I went to high school and I discovered that bookstores and libraries existed.  We had a small library in high school but they didn’t allow kids to bring them home. How am I supposed to finish reading a book in a half hour at the library? Maybe this is not the case in private schools but it is in public schools. And we all know there are more kids in public schools than private schools. And most of these kids’ parents do not have the extra money to buy them books that interest them.

I came to the United States in 2004 and I have never seen such a plethora of books in my entire 30 years in the Philippines!  I was in heaven, I still am. You know, books in my bedroom, books in the kitchen, books in the living room, books in the kids’ bedroom. You get the idea. It’s my passion. My husband and kids share that passion. And we want to share it with others.

Bottom line, this blog is our way of reaching out to people who have access to kids’ books (K-12) and financial resources – those who are willing to share with the less fortunate Filipino children who have limited opportunity to hone their reading skills because they do not have access to good books. We want these kids to be successful in school, in life, in their chosen career so they can in turn, help their families, neighbors, their community and their country.

* Source: Independent Reading and School Achievement, Bernice E. Cullinan, New York University. Vol 3, 2000