Tuesday, February 15, 2011



On August 9, 2009, the Local Government of Burgos, La Union received a generous donation of books from Pusong Pinoy. The books were turned over to Project ABC (Ameliorating Burgos Children), a multi-sectoral project aimed at improving the literacy of public school children in the municipality through improved reading comprehension.

A total of 1,101 story books were catalogued according to grade levels by the volunteer teachers within the week. There were 43 books for Pre-elementary, 355 for Grade I, 207 for Grade II, 192 for Grade III, 25 for Grade IV, 96 for Grade V and 183 books for Grade VI. The pre-elementary books were housed in the Day Care Center of the municipality and this gave the kids the exciting experience of being introduced to very colorful and beautiful books. The grade level books were equally divided among the eight elementary schools of the municipality. The books were rotated among the eight schools so that the pupils and teachers will have the opportunity to enjoy all the books even if it means taking turns. To ensure that the books are protected and can easily be transported from one school to the next, they are stored in plastic crates purchased by the local government.

A meeting was held among the Project ABC Leader and the School Heads on the mechanics of circulating the books among them. Whenever possible, the local government provides the vehicle to transport the crates. Each school head dedicated a librarian who looks after the books while in school. The first delivery of books was made in September 1, 2009, each batch of books stayed in the school for three weeks.

Children are allowed to read during their free time and a “drop everything and read program” during recess time has been adopted by all schools to encourage the pupils to read as many books they can.
The teachers also devised simple borrower’s cards for students who wanted to bring a book home. After three weeks, the crate of books moved to another school while a new one arrived. This went on until all eight crates have reached each school.

The movement of books proceeded as scheduled except during the devastation of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng when bridges were damaged and roads were eroded so the books stayed at the schools for more than a month. When the roads cleared, rotation continued but had to be carried by the students and teachers themselves in villages where the roads were still not passable by vehicles.

The designated librarians reported that, on the average, five books were not returned on time because either a student likes it and lends it to a sibling or cousin, or a teacher needs it to supplement her teaching. To date, the total collection is 5% smaller than its original number. However, the project has anticipated this and is consoled by the hope that any unreturned book continues to change hands and is still being read. We would like to believe that these books have become our children’s best friend. As Abraham Lincoln said, “The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.”

In behalf of the children, parents, and teachers, Project ABC would like to thank Pusong Pinoy for this gift of knowledge through books.


Dr. Corazon L. Abansi is an educator by heart and one of the implementers of Project ABC. She is the former Vice Chancellor for Academics and Research at De La Salle Lipa and is currently teaching at the graduate school of the University of the Philippines in Baguio City. She has also worked with various international and local organizations in the provision of quality public education in the Philippines. Working hand in hand with Synergeia Foundation, an organization that aims to uplift the quality of basic education in the Philippines, she became the Executive Director for Project K (Karunungan Para Sa Kinabukasan ng Kabataan) – an education reform program implemented to boost the literacy skills of more than 30,000 public elementary school pupils in Lipa City.