Thursday, December 22, 2011



I am so excited!  I want to share with all of you several touching moments that I have experienced today! I think I have told some of you that while carrying out research on education reform I undertook a survey on the performance and impact of Project ABC in Burgos.

Project ABC is a program which aims to improve basic education in Burgos, through implementing a reading program. I visited 6 of 8 public elementary schools in Burgos, La Union to conduct the survey. And guess what? Of all the activities of Project ABC– and there are many activities for teachers, parents and students– those that created the most impact are the books donated by Pusong Pinoy for the children of Burgos on November 2009!

How did Project ABC use the books donated by Pusong Pinoy? Well, I guess it was hard work for the teachers and volunteers from the Municipal Hall of Burgos. The book donations for Project ABC were counted, sorted, leveled, accessioned, and divided for the eight public elementary schools. They were put in plastic bins, then distributed to the schools. Books stayed in each school for 3 weeks and were then rotated to the next school. In each school, the books are put in a corner, with one reading corner for each grade.

When I asked parents and teachers how they use the nice books in the reading corner, I was simply amazed when I heard the compliments. I had goose bumps while listening to their stories. The books we donated are being read over and over again by the children of Burgos. THEY JUST LOVE THEM!

Many of the books are now old and dilapidated. This is great news for Pusong Pinoy! Books are there to be used. The more dilapidated our book donations become, is evidence of how frequently they are being used by the kids!

That's why our latest donation, which was turned over today, is really appreciated by the teachers and parents. Now, they have more books to lend and to be read to the kids! They need all the books that they can lay their hands on! To them, this is not the time to stop… the kids are now enjoying the world of reading!

Just to let you know, here are some of the things they said about the transportable library program of Project ABC carrying Pusong Pinoy’s books. We could say that these can be considered as some of the “impact indicators” of our program- these are signs that the books are being used well.

1. The kids greet recess or lunch break excitedly every day. This is their, “Drop Everything and Read” (DEAR) time, when they can visit the reading corner and choose a book to read there, or take it home for the night. Mind you, some kids choose the same book over and over again! Reading recognition is enhanced with the repetition of words. The more often children see a word, the more likely that they won’t forget its meaning and spelling.

2. When the kids get home, they read the books on their own, or with their parents, siblings or even cousins. That's one book benefitting several kids at once!

3. With kids whose parents cannot read or write, the kids take the books home and read to their parents! Isn't that amazing? Our kids are reading to their "nanays" and "tatays". This literally brought tears to my eyes. The parents sit with them with proud tears in their eyes. Their kids are finally doing what they have always dreamed to do themselves– read! Now they feel that all their hard work to send their kids to school is really worth it.

4. Now, teachers find it easier to teach reading. Why? Because NOW, the kids WANT to learn how to read! Guys, we did it! We struck that cord in their little minds! They want to read! woohooo!

5. Some kids take the same book home over and over. They just can’t put the books that they love the most down. To them, they have fallen in love with the book. This is probably the reason why some books are now missing. The kids simply don’t have the heart to return them.

6. I only received one complaint from a teacher about the reading program. The teacher said: "Ma'am, why do the books stay for too short a time in our school? The kids have not yet finished reading them but after three weeks they're rotated to the next school" Still good news! That means, the kids want to read them ALL!

7. When the kids were asked where the nice books were - they all pointed in the same direction. They all knew where the book haven was! It is indeed their favorite part of the room. These kids have never experienced running their little fingers on smooth, colorful and exciting pages. Many of the smaller kids do not even recognize letters yet. They simply browse with wide eyes, as they make their own interpretations of the stories behind the illustrations. With these books, the little ones are being exposed to letters and words in a fun and engaging way. Pretty soon, they will memorize how these letters look. After all, reading starts with the alphabet.

These are just some of the wonderful things I heard today about the impact made by the transportable library program of Project ABC. This was made possible by Pusong Pinoy’s book donation to Burgos. I am not exaggerating when I tell these stories. I experienced the same reaction in every school that we visited.

I just can’t help but tell all the HEROES who donated books to this worthwhile cause and the SUPERHEROES who gathered books and made sure they were delivered to the intended recipients. Just want to let you know – WE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK! We are not only doing the right things- we are doing things right! If we can make readers out of the Burgos kids, we can make them achievers for life!!! And who’s going to stop us from making readers out of the other marginalized children in the Philippines?

Thank you all for doing the book drives unceasingly… the program sure is working!

In the name of Pusong Pinoy,
TL Storm (Ningning Doble) 

*Click HERE to read more about PROJECT ABC in Burgos, La Union.  For book donations, please email