Story Hours promotes reading as ‘cool habit’
Encouraging children to read for pleasure is a shared responsibility of parents and teachers, as learning happens at home and in school.
This was the sharing imparted by Mirasol Maroliña, a public school teacher at Mandaue City Central School, during the launching of Story Hours last September 24.
“Children who do not like to read have a hard time understanding lessons or grasping concepts. They have a difficult time following instructions because they are distracted,” said Maroliña, a teacher of 20 years.
Maroliña said most children turn to gadgets such as tablets and smartphones instead of reading a book.
To address this concern, the school implements a specific reading time — usually 30 minutes after lunch time — and encourages children to read any book they want.
Maroliña and more than 100 teachers and elementary pupils from four schools in Mandaue City attended the launching of Story Hours, the literacy initiative that gathers children from public and private schools in one afternoon of storytelling and story-writing sessions.
Story Hours will run from September 2016 to September 2017 and is made possible by the partnership of Basadours, Cebu Daily News and J Centre Mall.
It will run every last Saturday of the month.
Basadours executive director Tara Rama said it is important to promote reading as a “cool hobby” so that children will be interested to be seen in public holding a book.
“A nation whose citizens love to read is a nation of people who make informed choices and opinions. The children, who will attend the Story Hours sessions, are future government leaders, journalists, lawyers, health professionals, who play crucial roles in society. We cannot just leave television or gadgets to babysit this generation,” said Rama.
Story Hours involves a three-hour program where children listen and participate in a storytelling session with an invited reader. After the storytelling session, the children are grouped in three or four groups to write their very own stories based on the theme assigned for a particular date.
Rama said Story Hours was envisioned to be a literacy initiative that will gather different sectors of society to promote literacy development.
“Having Cebu Daily News and J Centre Mall as partners for this one-year run of the Story Hours proves that we are not negligent of our social responsibility to help shape the character of the younger generation,” said Rama.
Cebu Daily News is the media partner for this endeavor with its stand to “practice journalism that builds communities.”
CDN’s participation in Story Hours is also in line with the newspaper’s literacy projects which include Read Aloud and Siloy Campus Journalism Workshops.
As a meeting place of people from different walks of life, J Centre Mall proves to be the perfect venue for Story Hours. Aside from being the physical home of Story Hours in its one-year run, J Centre Mall also takes charge in providing snacks and giveaways to participants.
Seven-year-old Gabriel Vercede of Cabancalan 1 Elementary School said he enjoyed the story-writing activity, which had the theme “Love for Mother,” because he was able to work with children from other schools.
“I gained new friends, and I was able to write a story with them,” said Gabriel, who was accompanied by his mother, Arlyn.
The next Story Hours session will be held on October 29.
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