#AkoAngBida sa Aklat (I am the Story’s Hero/ine)

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations — something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out to towards people whose lives are quite different from their own.

Katherine Patterson

Well said, Katherine. A Chinese-born American writer best known for children’s novels including Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine has won two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards. 

Making her words true is one Filipino teacher of preschool and kindergarten learners, who did stretch her learners’ imaginations in this January 2022 winning entry to the literacy campaign spearheaded by Southern Voices Printing Press (SVPP).

The contest rules were simple enough. Anyone who posts on FB or IG a selfie role-playing a character in one of the books published by SVPP, tags at least 3 friends and the SVPP fb or IG accounts, and uses the following hashtags — #akoangbida, #cosplaysvpp, and #OdettePH — is a potential winner of a 2022 Ang Munting Prinsipe Planner, a book voucher, and a PhP500 donation to Odette Relief efforts in her/his name.

Teacher Lita went way beyond a selfie post. Her class topic for the day was on ‘parts of the body’, particularly the HANDS. She encouraged her young learners to imagine how their hands could be used to help others and do good. She ended the short class period with a story reading session of JAMIN, Ang Batang Manggagawa (JAMIN, The Child Laborer).

Later, when asked if Jamin was a happy child, one of Teacher Lita’s learners responded: “Hindi siya masaya kasi lagi na lang siya pinatatrabaho ng kanyang boss.” (She is not happy because her boss keeps forcing her to work). When asked “Do you think Jamin also finds time to play?”, the response was “Sabi ko nga sa iyo, may boss siya. Bad. Bawal maglaro.” (I told you so, she has a boss. Bad. Playing is not allowed).

A 2011 Survey on Children of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reveals that of the 2.1 million Filipino child labourers aged 5 to 17 years old, about 95 per cent of them are in hazardous work. Imagine how much more children were forced into hazardous forms of labor during this period of the pandemic, just to help their families survive.

Teacher Lita showed us how a simple game/contest can be stretched beyond our expectations and revealed just how much learning children can get when taught to read good books, and allowed these learners to reach out to people whose lives may be different to their own.

Let’s see how the February edition* of the #AkoAngBida ng Aklat and #cosplaySVPP stretches our imaginations!###

*check out our FB page (https://www.facebook.com/SouthernVoicesPrintingPress) for our February contest rules.

Check out our bookshop too! https://southernvoicesbooks.shop/shop/

Published by

Southern Voices Books

Southern Voices Printing Press (SVPP) was established on November 7, 2007 to serve as an accessible channel to publish children's storybooks, poetry books and biographic works, among others. The authentic and genuine stories of people who live and walk on paths unacknowledged by popular media, the press holds sacred and true. SVPP cherishes and weaves these stories into a blanket of letters that warms the heart, and ignites the fire within. SVPP also reaches out to indie publishers and self-published authors as well as organizations and business outfits for their offset printing, graphic design, computer-aided typesetting and layout services. We print books, journals, newsletters, manuals, primers, brochures, posters, leaflets, souvenir programs, magazines, among others.

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