VALENCIA CITY, BUKIDNON – This weekend marks the end of a summer of fun and learning for the kids of Valencia City Central School who have been attending summer classes under the Read-to-be-Smart (RTBS) program of Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) every Friday.
RTBS seeks to address the lack of appreciation and understanding of reading among public school children. Aside from story-telling, the children had the chance to develop their drawing and writing skills, and enjoy the learning activities. Dr. Margie Bayagna, Valencia City Central School (Central) Principal shares, “We are lucky and very thankful to have been chosen as the beneficiary of this program.”
SMART employees from Valencia Wireless Center, headed by Jane Montebon and Roy Perfuma, were joined by teachers from public and private schools to volunteer at Central. Anali Ambos, a teacher applicant at Central, says “I am so pleased to be part of this activity. Being a teacher, I have gained more insights on how to stimulate the interest of the slow-learners.”
Teaching over the summer took away a lot of their time, but the teachers all thought it was worth it. “This activity simply makes summer more exciting and fun for the schoolchildren and teachers alike,” Armelyn Diog shares. Aleth Silao, her co-teacher at Central, adds, “Being one of the RTBS teacher-volunteers turned out to be a wonderful and rewarding experience for me.”
Annaliza Bonghanoy, a teacher-volunteer from the San Agustin Institute of Technology enthuses, “I have had so much learning from the activity since the approach is quite different from what we are used to. The activity does not only draw their attention to learn new words, but it also reinforces moral lessons and good values.”
This year, SMART is incorporating the Silid Aralan Learning Technology (SALT) of Silid Aralan, Inc. (SAI) in the conduct of the summer program. SALT is a teaching technique that enables learning to take place by making the lessons relevant to the students. This is done not only by localizing stories, examples, songs and other educational materials according to the children’s experiences but also by using a teaching method best suited to their inclination. This means that a child inclined towards music might respond more to songs or singing in class.
SMART kicked off its employee-volunteerism program in education with the PasaBook nationwide campaign in 2003, where selected schools from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were given books donated by SMART employees. In April 2004, RTBS was implemented in Makati City under the Department of Education’s Adopt-A-School program. RTBS was extended to Pasay City and Cebu City in 2005, and to Cagayan De Oro City and Davao City in 2006. (PR)