Sunday, November 9, 2008

Orange Octa Volunteer

I have been up and about since 10:30 am Friday morning to attend a volunteer reading session at the Alabang Public School. One of HSBC's advocacy is to be able to spread their love for reading and share it with the less fortunate especially the children. Although back in College I have had the chance to be a volunteer teacher at Caritas Manila, I was a bit apprehensive because I did not know what to expect and what were expected of us. We were divided into groups of 4, where 2 would read and 2 would be for crowd control. Surprisingly the school that we visited was huge and well-kept, not for anything else, but I have visited other schools years back that were worn-out and dilapited. The first classroom we entered had grade one students who instantly greeted us with a deafening "Good morning visitors!". After introducing ourselves we started reading to them about Orange Octa, a story about an octopus who was different. The story was in english but realising that most of the children had difficulty understanding some of the words used in the story, we had to pause and explain to them the meaning. Afterwards, armed with candies we began asking them questions to find out if they understood the story that we just read. Most of them would just raise their hands in the hope of getting some candies but what bothered me the most was the fact that 95% of the children are not familiar with a lot of words that children their age should already know. The second classroom we went to was the same and even quite depressing as we only saw 10-15 students inside the classroom while the rest were either watering the plants, cleaning the corridors or doing some errands. I would not want to judge why this is so, as their subject perhaps at that time was ... i don't know ... home economics??? ... but just the same even as they were older students than the first group we visited, their language comprehension was quite poor. I just hope that our government can do something about this as good education builds better lives, while language breaks down barriers. We will have another reading session this coming Friday, the 14th of November. It actually is a "feel-good" experience as all the other volunteer work I have done in the past and this is something that I want my children go through even at an early age. hmmm... I guess this Christmas season would be a good time to start a personal advocacy with my children as little volunteers. This is going to be fun! :)

1 comment:

Ria said...

that's so nice of you to do. i would love to do that kind of volunter work too.