2 boys inspire Story Hours session

By: Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo October 31,2016 - 11:09 AM
Rheus Ajoc (second from right) participates in a story writing activity with fellow children from Babag I Elementary School and Marie Ernestine School during the October run of the literacy event, Story Hours. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Rheus Ajoc (second from right) participates in a story writing activity with fellow children from Babag I Elementary School and Marie Ernestine School during the October run of the literacy event, Story Hours. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Seven-year-old Rheus Ajoc has brittle bone disease that stunted his physical growth.

But the grade two pupil of Babag 1 Elementary School is bright and eager to learn as he joined 35 children from his school and Marie Ernestine School for the literacy event, Story Hours last October 22.

Rheus had the face of a hungry and curious young learner. He was all ears during the storytelling sessions and attentive in the story writing activity.

Danica Blanche Fernandez, a member of The Outstanding Students of the Philippines Alumni Community who served as facilitator in the story writing session, described Rheus as energetic and witty.

“I wanted to make sure everyone has a part in (writing) the story. Rheus was always the first one to volunteer and contribute ideas for our story. Despite his brittle limbs, he was active and was able to jive with the group. In fact, everyone (in the group) knew him. Even the Marie Ernestine children called him by his first name,” said Fernandez.

Rheus and his mother, Juvy, were the first to arrive in the venue. Rheus played while his mother looked after him.

Grade 2 adviser Ruchell B. Fat said although Rheus has a physical disability, his cognitive development is progressing well. He is part of the school’s Fast Learner section and belongs to the Top 30 students in class.
He joins all school activities including the physical education classes.

“His academic performance and extra-curricular activities are testaments to his passion and commitment to learn more,” said Fat.

Story Hours is a literacy event that merges storytelling, story writing, and book drive with parents, teachers, and pupils from public and private elementary schools.

It is an advocacy project of Basadours, Cebu Daily News and J Centre Mall.

Prior to the event, the participants from Marie Ernestine School were advised to bring books which they will give to their partner school, Babag 1 Elementary School.

Volunteering as storytellers were lawyer Thess Banzali and daughter, Therese. They read the book, Bully vs. Bully, written by Grace Chong and illustrated by Leo Kempis Ang.

Banzali reminded children that bullying — physically hurting other children or making fun of them — is not good and should never be encouraged. She also told children to report to their parents or teachers any cases of bullying in school or in the community.

The storytellers and the two partner schools received Guyito stuffed toys from Cebu Daily News while Siloy, CDN’s mascot, entertained the children with a special dance number. J Centre Mall provided snacks and the venue for the event.

Story Hours is held at The Bridge (near Coffee ROI and Family Appliance Center) of J Centre Mall every month until September 2017.

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TAGS: Babag 1, J Centre Mall, Story Hours

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