The Department of Education and the Literacy Coordinating Council in the Philippines declare September 2-8 as the National Literacy Week. The celebration aims to generate awareness and appreciation of literacy programs and projects among educators, learners, stakeholders, and the community; highlight the role of education in the eradication of illiteracy; create interest and understanding of issues and concerns related to literacy among various sectors; develop and sustain a critical mass of social mobilizers, advocates and supporters of literacy; and recognize those who have dedicated their life’s work to reaching out to illiterate individuals and communities.
To highlight the event, below is a list of low-cost activities which teachers, schools and communities can do to celebrate the National Literacy Week
1. A Day of Stories. Teachers, parents and partners could organize a story day in school with the kids as audience. Tip: Make the storytelling as engaging as possible using techniques such as making the kids act out and create sounds based on the elements found in the story.
2. Writers Congress. The school could hold a writing competition in different categories, be it poetry, short essay and short story, among others. The learners could then discuss with each other what they've written down.
3. Literacy Champions Day. Teachers cannot do the tasks of curbing illiteracy by themselves so if the school or community has organizations or individuals that devote their resources in building a literate community, this is the time to recognize them. A plaque or certificate of appreciation for their valuable contributions is already a big thing.
4. Look at this Unique Book. Let kids bring to school a book which they think is unique such as an old but fancy book given to them by their grandparents, books with the signature of the writer, books with interesting illustrations, among others. Kids could display them in a school gallery for their schoolmates to see. Aside from inciting interest in books, this could also foster discussion and friendship.
5. Read and Solve. Kids will be posted with problems and set of questions which they would answer using the different reference materials in the library.
6. Author Meet-and-Greet. There are writers who are willing to participate in school activities, especially when they just live nearby. The school could ask them to a talk about their work or read one of their books to the kids. In the absence of a book author, journalists could be invited.
7. A Week with Community Helpers. Have the community doctor, nurse, dentist, policeman, firefighter, baker, store clerk, journalist, and politician, among others deliver a short talk about the work that they do and how reading as well as their knowledge in writing effectively help them do well in their daily jobs.
8. Book Parade. Have the kids think about the favorite book which they’ve read in the past, then let them participate in a school dress-up day featuring that book which they’ve identified. The school could organize a Literacy Day parade around the school community wherein these kids could show their cute outfits, be it the book itself or their favorite character in it. They could also likewise share to their fellow learners why they love that book and why it is fun to know how to read.
Despite the significant improvement in the functional literacy among Filipinos through the years, there are still a lot to do to improve the literacy rate in the country. One of which is making sure that everyone understands the importance of knowing how to read and write in daily living. Another ways is encouraging different stakeholders to continue working towards building literate communities.
Just like any nation, the Philippines sees literacy as one of the foundations in nation building. That is why through the years, there have been a number of programs initiated by the government and non-government organizations to improve the functional literacy in the country.
When we say functional literacy, it means the level of literacy which goes beyond reading and writing as this level allows people to cope with the daily demands of life. In short, it is the practical application of literacy.
In the 2013 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority, results showed that 9 out of 10 Filipinos (90.3% rate) aged 16-64 years old were functionally literate.
Despite this significant improvement, however, there are still a lot to do to improve the literacy rate in the country and one of which is making sure that everyone understands the importance of knowing how to read and write in daily living and encouraging the different stakeholders to continue working towards building literate communities.
In our own little ways, we can instill to our kids the love for reading and writing as well as the practical application of such in their daily lives. One way of doing this is by immersing them in interesting activities such as the simple ones enumerated above.
If you have other interesting ideas on how to celebrate literacy, please comment down below.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Arni Abueva