Aug 21, 2008

AHON Foundation and Fully Booked partner for book registry project

AHON Foundation, Inc. Launches 1st Philippine Book Registry for Public Schools
by: Harvey Keh, Executive Director, AHON Foundation

Rowena is a 2nd year high school student at a public school in Metro Manila. At first glance she looks like a typical teenager who is eager to learn new things yet when she is asked to explain the meaning of a magazine article that her teacher asked her to read, she just shrugs her head and honestly tells her teacher that she cannot answer.

Rowena is just one of the hundreds of thousands of high school students in our country who are diagnosed to be "non-readers" or students who can read but have very poor comprehension skills therefore they cannot understand what they have just read. In some cases, public school teachers lament the fact that there are many students who reach high school despite the fact that they have reading comprehension skills equivalent to a Grade 3 student.

This is no longer surprising considering that many of our public schools still do not have enough textbooks and functional libraries that their students can use. When one visits a typical public school library, you will be depressed at seeing that there are very few books available for the students and if there are, most of these books were published in the 1960s and the 1970s.

This is the kind of situation that the AHON (Acts of Hope for the Nation) Foundation hopes to respond to as it launches the 1st ever Philippine Book Registry for Public Schools together with Fully Booked at Bonifacio High Street in Global City, Taguig.

AHON Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the state of public education in our country by helping build well-equipped and functional public elementary and high school libraries all over the country.

Since its inception in 2006, AHON has already helped establish 16 libraries in public elementary schools in Marikina, Quezon City, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Pangasinan. These libraries which are developed by harnessing support from different members of the community are currently benefitting more than 25,000 public elementary school students. It aims to respond to the needs of other public schools in areas like Basilan, Saranggani, Agusan del Sur and other provinces.

The book registry entitled, "Turn Bookworms into Beautiful Butterflies" is found at the flagship store of Fully Booked at Bonifacio High Street, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Like a bridal registry, any well-meaning individual who hopes to help bring books to public school libraries can visit Fully Booked and select books that are needed by schools from the designated tables in the bookstore for the AHON Foundation Book Registry.

During the launch of the book registry last August 8, Fully Booked Managing Director Jaime Daez said that he is very happy with the partnership since Fully Booked shares in AHON's mission of promoting love for reading among young Filipinos.

As the keynote speaker during the launch, Ateneo de Manila University President and noted mathematician, Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J. shared with the audience his own love affair with books beginning with adventure and fairytale books written in Ilocano, and Marvel comic books too, which he read while growing up in his hometown at Bacnotan, La Union.

Fr. Nebres also stressed that books are important since they allow the youth to open their eyes to new realities and enhance their imagination. He exclaims "books are magical; they open up one's imagination!".

As the launch event drew to a close, AHON Foundation Chairman and Filway Marketing Inc. President, Hector Tagaysay stressed that since majority of Filipinos study in the public schools, there is an urgent need for everyone to work together to help improve our public school system if we want our country to move at the pace of our other Asian neighbors. More importantly, he emphasized that our country's development will not move at the pace of our private schools such as Ateneo, La Salle or Assumption rather it will move at the pace of our public school system.

Aside from Fr. Nebres, other endorsers of the book registry project include well-known talk show host, Boy Abunda and Dr. Lourdes David, Director of Ateneo de Manila's Rizal Library.

For more information about Turn Bookworms into Beautiful Butterflies, you can visit Fully Booked at Bonifacio High Street or you can contact Anna Rojas at (02) 683-0262 local 109.

Watch out for the roll out of the book registries in more Fully Booked branches in the coming months.

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