Project LiBro: Helping the Filipino Children Love Reading

Time Magazine reported that in the year 2014, there was a decline in the reading of books among children due to technological advances. Children ages 2-7 years old would rather text or check different apps than read. The education system may also be a factor on how the children were encouraged to read their books, or how reading was presented as an enriching activity.

Here in the Philippines, there isn’t much study about reading habits among children. However, libraries are evidently not so popular as compared to shopping malls or computer shops. We have somehow accustomed reading with the rich and bright people, so those in the villages view leisurely reading as a waste of time.

During my childhood, my parents bought encyclopedias and story books as Christmas and birthday presents. My parents rarely had to remind us to read our books; it was like there was an unspoken agreement that as schooling children, we should be the one initiating our reading schedules. But after some time of reading and re-reading, those books remained unopened in the shelves.

It was in my teenage years when I started to develop a deeper interest for reading. There was one book that captivated my senses, just by its cover, and I thought that it should be an interesting one. So for one week, I saved up my extra money from my school allowance and bought that book. It got me hooked and interested to read more books, and buying them from my own savings became a practice. I often got stuck in libraries and book shops and got fascinated by the variety of books. More often than not, I would walk out from those places holding new books.

I believe that Neil Gaiman was right when he said that, “Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them.” Books reveal so much about the world, and even if I haven’t actually been to those places, they become familiar to me as I read about them. Every reading evokes an emotion that made me feel more human. I might not experience personally the situation from some books that I’ve read, but somehow I learned the way to deal with it because I had a glimpse of it as I read and processed through the stories.

The interest of reading books drew me to this group of young professionals who desire to share the joy of reading.  They organized the Book Exchange LB, an event that was posted in social media that I realized I should be a part of. Being a part of that activity made me believe even more that reading will open more possibilities for me to be part of transforming lives and communities, just as I had experienced.

Our group is currently working to organize the Project LiBro, a book drive project for the benefit of a day care center in Nasugbu, Batangas, to assist them to have their own reading corner. We want this project to furnish children with books for their homes and share to their siblings the joy of reading. We hope to impart good values formation among these children through the books they would read.

The Sunrise Day Care Center located in Brgy. Talangan, Nasugbu, Batangas, is part of the fishing village with an estimated 30 children registered and attending the daycare center programs. They belong to indigent families that will prioritize buying basic needs than books. We would like to see the eyes of children spark as they learn to read a book and have their own copies. As they open the books, it will open their minds to possibilities of their dreams and determination in their hearts to achieve it. We want them to learn to love reading so much that when they close a book, they would eagerly reach out for another one, knowing that it will bring them to places and gives new insights as they journey in this life.

With all of this in mind, we invite to take this journey with us through your generous act of giving, either through cash donation or by donating books. We will be purchasing books recommended by education experts. Majority of these books are award-winning and will teach values in the most effective way possible. The books are written in both Filipino and English and have illustrations that will stimulate the interest and intellect of the children.

While any amount of assistance would be greatly appreciated, here are some suggested donations and how they would help this project:

o    PhP 200.00
o    PhP 500.00
o    PhP 1, 000.00
o    Others, please specify: _______________

You can do a direct deposit to the bank accounts listed below. Please send us a photo of the deposit slip so we can easily verify your donations and thank you accordingly. Another option is through Cash Remittance Center.

BPI Account: Genny-Rose B. Marcelino
Account Number: 2439-2778-85

Unionbank Account: Genny-Rose B. Marcelino
Account Number: 101-6-780-1207-1

Landbank Account: Joseph A. Pagtananan
Account Number: 1897-1068-99

Metrobank Account: Joseph Pagtananan
Account Number: 485-3-485-25172-4

Paypal Account: japagtananan@up.edu.ph

Cash Remittance Center: LBC, Palawan, Cebuana, etc.
c/o Joseph Pagtananan, Mobile Number: 0949-699-7633, Address: 3/F Main Library, OVCCA Main Office, UP Los Banos, Laguna

Please contact me if you are interested in sponsoring Project Libro – Batangas. Thank you for your time and partnership.

Sincerely,

Genny-Rose B. Marcelino
Coordinator, Project Libro Batangas
Email: theprojectlibro@gmail.com

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Project LiBro

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