MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Education (DepEd) has declared November 2011 as National Reading Month as part of the agency's move to promote its Every Child A Reader Program and to support the ten-point education agenda of the Aquino administration.
"We are coming up with more creative ways of developing the love for reading among our young because this is an important portal to the world of learning," Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a statement.
DepEd has proposed a series of activities to celebrate the National Reading Month. These include:
- Read-A-Thon: involves a search for the best individual and team readers from students in public schools
- Drop Everything and Read: a 15- to 20-minute daily activity devoted to reading books or other reading materials available in school
- Shared Reading (Big Brother or Sister / Kaklase Ko, Sagot Ko): an activity where older students or independent readers teach pupils who are at the "frustration reading" or non-reading level
- Intensified Remedial Reading: teachers or class advisers give remedial lessons to children in the frustration reading level
- Five Words A Week / A Paragraph A Day: encourages pupils to learn and master one word a day for five days a week and to read aloud one or two short paragraphs a day before classes start to develop their oral communication skills
- Reading Camp: a venue for children can hone their talents in communication arts through competitions
Luistro has directed all school officials to lead the nationwide synchronized reading program every first Monday of the month from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The National Reading Month will culminate with the "Araw ng Pagbasa" on November 25 to coincide with the 20th year of the signing of Republic Act 7165, which created the Literacy Coordinating Council.
"By giving importance to the Araw ng Pagbasa, we are promoting reading and literacy among our learners even as we motivate them to learn from the lives and works of eminent Filipinos," he said.
The National Reading Month coincides with the National Book Development Month (under Proclamation 1436 series of 2007) and the National Book Week (under Proclamation 109 series of 1936) during the fourth week of November.
Palace encourages Pinoys to read stories to their kids
Meanwhile, Malacañang called on the public to rekindle children's interest in reading.
"We strongly encourage parents, grandparents and guardians to read stories to their children to rekindle their interest in reading," deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a statement.
"We fully support the Department of Education's campaign to encourage school children to participate in the month-long reading activities laid out by the DepEd.
"DepEd is initiating programs that would promote reading and literacy among the pupils and students, motivate our youth to learn from the lives and works of eminent Filipinos, uphold one's own heritage and values, and make reading a shared physical experience."
Last August, Dr. Lilian Juadiong said reading to kids before bedtime gives them a head start when they reach school as it helps develop listening abilities, vocabulary, creativity and oral communication skills.
She added that the activity also provides exposure to new knowledge and proper behavior since children's tales often present a lesson at the end.