MANILA, Philippines–Aliteracy, the phenomenon of children choosing not to read despite being able to, is a cause for concern in many nations, including the Philippines. The loss of a reading habit among children is usually caused by a lack of interest in books and by frustrating reading experiences springing from comprehension deficits.
The Scholastic Readers Cup, now in its fourth year, is a saving grace as far as this matter is concerned. Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, is behind this inter-school competition that promotes books and reading.
Apart from celebrating the limitless power of reading to educate, to nourish the soul and to transform lives, it is also Scholastic’s way of appreciating and recognizing the exemplary efforts of education vanguards – from the school directors and principals to the teachers and librarians – in improving the country’s literacy rate and state.
Representatives from Scholastic’s 159 reading partner schools graced the 2016 Readers Cup held at the Isla Ballroom of EDSA Shangri-la Hotel on August 4.
The schools are Scholastic’s partners in the Assessment & Enrichment Program for Reading (AEP) and the Independent Reading Program (IRP). Through this partnership, Scholastic is able to provide schools with a supplementary Reading program that assesses students’ reading comprehension levels, matches each child with the right books, monitors independent reading, and enriches classroom reading instruction.
During the Readers Cup celebration, Scholastic’s partner educators were treated to a sumptuous lunch buffet, wonderful tokens and raffle prizes, and joyous entertainment by the UP Concert Chorus and the country’s Prince of Pop, Erik Santos.
The highlight of the event was the awarding of the 2016 Readers Cup winners. The schools that read the most number of books in their category (based on student population) were declared winners. The Scholastic Readers Cup champion schools for 2016 – St. Paul College Balayan (28,972 books read), Saint James Academy (80,688 books read) and Dr. Yanga’s Colleges, Inc. (104,248 books read) – each won a Reading Center make-over to make their library an even more inviting place for pleasure reading.
School principals and program coordinators were also recognized through the Scholastic Principal and Coordinator Achievement awards. Winning educators were from schools that achieved the highest average in books read for every student, and the most improved in terms of their students’ reading comprehension skills.
For the grade school with the highest average number of books read per student, Sr. Maria Yolanda Caridad Y. Orpilla, SPC and Mrs. Joy Magahis, principal and program coordinator respectively of St. Paul College Balayan, were awarded. Students of St. Paul College Balayan read an average of 91 books each for school year 2015-2016.
For high school, the awardees were Fr. Erwin B. Aguilar, OSJ, and Mrs. Nora Beleno, principal and program coordinator respectively of Holy Family Academy. Students of Holy Family Academy read an average of 108 books each for school year 2015-2016.
For schools with the most improved students in terms of their Lexile (reading comprehension) growth, the top winners for grade school were Mr. Bryan C. Riddin and Ms. Maria Elena O. Camatog of International British Academy. For high school, the top winners were Dr. Danna Manding and Mr. Jayson Esteban of Mother Goose Special System Inc., Urdaneta.
The Readers Cup also celebrates and recognizes the contributions of librarians with the Scholastic Librarian Achievement Award given to the Scholastic Reading Center Managers of schools with the highest average of books read per student. Top awardee was Mrs. Avelina Villadores, the librarian of Holy Family Academy whose students read an average of 96 books each for school year 2015-2016.
Mr. Frank Wong, President of Scholastic Asia, related, “The Scholastic Readers Cup is one way of giving recognition to the noble educators who champion reading and learning. They are the real heroes in our quest for a more globally competitive Philippines. By shining the spotlight on these individuals and institutions, we hope to inspire other educators to raise more and better readers and life-long learners, too.”
With Scholastic, a forerunner in the world of literacy and education, the hope to keep the torch burning for educators who have relentlessly devoted their lives in their profession is beaming.
Through its literacy programs – the Assessment & Enrichment Program for Reading (AEP) and the Independent Reading Program (IRP) – as well as through the Scholastic Readers Cup, Scholastic Philippines continues to direct links to the future by contributing in the empowerment of young minds and in building a nation of readers.
For more information on Scholastic’s education initiatives and more, visit www.scholastic.asia or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ScholasticAsia.