This momi believes in the importance of reading. Just like me and the many parents I know, The Gateway Gallery likewise strongly believes in the power of literacy. The Gateway Gallery is managed by the J. Amado Araneta Foundation (JAAF), the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the Araneta Group.
I have seen the insurmountable benefits of reading. It fosters individual growth that can spur national development. Good to know that the Philippines does not log behind on basic literacy. Research shows that in 2013, 96.5 percent of 74 million Filipinos 10 years old and over were basically literate. When one says basic or simple literacy, it means the ability of a person to read and write with understanding a simple message in any language or dialect.
Encouragingly, nine out of every ten Filipinos 10 to 64 years were functionally literate. A functional literate person is one who can at least read, write, compute and comprehend. These are the same persons who have graduated from high school or have completed a higher level of education.
Despite the high statistics, the number significantly drops when comprehension is considered. Only 5 out of 10 elementary graduates can read, write, compute and comprehend. While this number improves as the students reach high school, only about 60% of the population actually reaches high school thus, attaining this level of literacy. The top three reason for not attending school or dropping out are 1) employment (28.8%), 2) family income not sufficient to send a child to school (15.7), and 3) lack of personal interest (14.9).
The Gateway Gallery Reading Program aims to foster literacy or love for reading among Filipino children. Given the statistics, the Gateway Gallery then sees promoting the love for reading as a possible way to improve the literacy rate in the country. This supports the same program of DepEd.
To highlight its strong faith in reading, last June 12 of this year, the Gallery unveiled its “Liwanag Reading Corner.” This is a 7-piece mobile wooden sculpture inspired by the story of the Lamp and the Moth told by Teodora Alonzo to the young boy Jose Rizal. This one-of-a-kind art piece aims to promote our Filipino heritage and encourage reading by showcasing select books on Philippine history, culture, and arts for all ages.
Kuwentuhang Adarna sa Gateway Gallery
This is monthly storytelling session for community children. The activity aims to promote book enjoyment through animated storytelling and activities. Storytellers from Adarna House will read stories using Adarna books. The session ends with the distribution of snacks and educational gifts.
The Liwanag Reading Caravan
This is a storytelling – school campaign where celebrity storytellers visit nearby schools to promote the value and habit of reading. It also encourages the students to visit Gateway Gallery’s Liwanag Reading Corner for some “after-school reading”.
Mga Kwento ni Nanay
This is a one-day storytelling workshop designed to strengthen the reading campaign of the Gallery by enlisting parents, guardian, teachers, and volunteers in the community. Participants are briefed on the value of reading and helpful techniques to become effective storytellers. The activity not only emphasizes the benefits of reading but espouses spending quality time with the children for their overall development.
In the last 5 months since they launched their reading program, they were able to reach 230 children, trained nearly 100 storytellers and distributed more than 150 books.
This November 24 & 25, in time with the celebration of the National Reading Month, the Gateway Gallery is holding its 2nd Mga Kwento ni Nanay : A Storytelling Workshop in partnership with Adarna House. We call all parents, guardians, teachers, and volunteers. We encourage you all to join this worthwhile activity and together, let us all discover the fun of reading. Let us learn the techniques to become effective storytellers. And more than anything, let this be the way for us to spend quality time with the children reading stories to them. After all, this all boils down to our love and hope for their overall development.