Zonta promotes reading

NOT-for-profit organization Zonta Club of Cebu 2 is committed to inspiring children to attain passion for reading through its one-of-a-kind family literacy program called Alimbukad: Basa Pamilya.

The group also aims to empower parents to play vital roles in the learning success of their children by reading to them stories aloud at home.

Launched in 2013 with 25 families, Alimbukad: Basa Pamilya is now serving 600 families and the number is expected to increase in the coming years.

The program’s partners are the Cebu City Public Library and the Department of Education’s divisions in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and in Cebu Province. It had built a legacy grounded on the basis that all children have the right to learn and read.

Alimbukad: Basa Pamilya provides books for families to read daily at home every school year. It trains parents every month on how to promote interactive literacy activities at home through its Parent and Child Time (Pact) activities.

Wi Suan Tiu, director of Alimbukad: Basa Pamilya program, said during the Cebu City Public Library visit on Feb. 20, 2020, that they had experienced challenges in implementing the program.

The library visit was led by Zonta Club of Cebu 2 president Marilou Cañizares and attended by Zonta District 17 and Areas 1-5 officers.

One of the challenges was finding age-appropriate quality books, said Tiu.

The program has 3,000 books circulating among Alimbukad participants.

“We solicit book donations from Alimbukad friends in the United States and Canada, purchase books from bookstores and local publishing companies to keep the books upgraded,” Tiu said.

She further said the other challenge was the training of the teachers in charge of implementing the program in schools.

“They are crucial to the success of the program. Teachers are trained on efficient and systematic bookbags distribution, tracking and facilitating the monthly Alimbukad Pact session and reading aloud strategies. In the past seven years, the partner schools have given Alimbukad their full support and cooperation. Together, we are making children better readers and shaping a better future for them,” Tiu said. S