Seventy (70) daycare workers and kindergarten teachers from Olongapo City, and the municipalities of Subic and Castillejos in Zambales Province were recently trained on Effective Storytelling at the Subic Bay Exhibit and Convention Center.
Organized by Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. (RP Energy) in partnership with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Adarna Publishing House, the program aims to promote genuine love for reading among children by helping teachers further hone their storytelling skills.
According to RP Energy Corporate Social Responsibility Head Victor Persius Chan, “Reading and comprehension are basic skills that are useful not only in the children’s academic career, but also in their daily life. The workshop is a step towards creating generations of readers who are lifelong learners.”
Education experts say that storytelling can be used as a springboard in teaching basic concepts on Math, Science, and Values at the preschool level. Studies show that it is the foundation of literacy development and demonstrates the relationship between the printed word and meaning.
Chan explains, “Through storytelling, children can listen on a higher language level than they can read making complex ideas more accessible. It exposes children to vocabulary and language patterns that are not part of everyday speech and encourages children to grow as readers and broadens the types of literature they choose to read.”
Researchers agree that as long as teaching exists, the read-aloud or storytelling should be incorporated in the curriculum, regardless of the students’ ages.
The training program for day care workers is a follow-up to the launch of RP Energy’s Unang Hakbang Program- an initiative that aims to create centers of excellence in kindergarten and daycare education by establishing conducive and advanced learning environments for children.
“SBMA is happy to be part of RP Energy’s Unang Hakbang Program and contribute in efforts that promote literacy in communities around the Freeport. We know that love for reading is a great start in creating a better future for our children.” said Armina Llamas, Public Relations Department Manager of the SBMA.
Jay Menes, an internationally-recognized storyteller, facilitated the workshop that included vocal exercises, pre-reading activities, and group presentations. He also gave tips on how to effectively capture the children’s attention.
Helen Recella, day care worker from Aningway Sacatihan shared, “We enjoyed the training with Mr. Menes. It was very interactive and we can really apply this to our classes.”
The teachers were also given practical tips on effective questions before and after storytelling. They were also briefed on how to vary their tones, their body movements, and facial expressions to make the experience more engaging for the audience.
“In the future, we hope to establish more Unang Hakbang learning hubs in Zambales and impart unique strategies that will improve the academic performance of the Zambaleno youth. Through reading, we hope to increase the literacy rate among RP Energy’s host communities. In the age of digital tablets and smartphones, we still want to raise kids who will not be afraid to pick up and enjoy reading books.” Chan said.