The "Reading is Fun" program funded by the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) aims to increase literacy among pupils while strengthening relationships between the SK and Department of Education (DepEd) in an enjoyable atmosphere.
"We hope in this way we can help to improve our education here in Sarangani," said Aniceto Lopez III during the program's launch Thursday (April 10). Lopez sits in the provincial board as SK representative.
"Nasa inyong henerasyon, ang ating mga bagong halal na opisyal sa SK, na ipakita na hindi pwede ibalewala ang ating kabataan," Governor Migs Dominguez said.
"Lahat tayo gustong mag-volunteer because we all want to make a difference," the 30-year old governor added.
The provincial SK has now 600 "big brothers and sisters" – volunteers who will serve as "ate" and "kuya" for the incoming Grade III pupils in the mentoring program.
"We are excited for you and the opportunities that lie next to you, the young leaders of Sarangani," said Cecile Dominguez, Alcantara Foundation executive director.
"A love of reading is a great gift that they will take on for the rest of their lives," Dominguez stressed.
Alcantara Foundation partners with the SK, DepEd and the local government in the implementation of the program.
"Our modern education today wants competitive children who can face local and worldwide challenges," Maitum municipal SK chairman Michael Elichecon said.
DepEd-Sarangani will conduct two days of training on mentoring for the volunteers before the program kicks off April 15. Modules will be provided to instruct volunteers on how to make reading enjoyable for children.
A weekly monitoring and evaluation of the program will be conducted with the DepEd, SK and the volunteers.
According to DepEd-Sarangani, its human resource statistics signifies bigger challenges as the schools enrolment trend continues to increase.
"There are limitations that are reflected in current staff inadequacies, a need for teaching staff to be multi-functional, limitations in curricular offerings and constraints in financial resources," Isagani dela Cruz, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent, said.
Foreign-assisted educational programs such as Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao, Child-Friendly School System, and Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills have been pouring assistance for Sarangani education aside from DepEd's national programs and projects. (Sarangani Information Office/RGP)