Recognizing the importance of early childhood education, Childlink Learning Center and Childlink High School Inc. is open to partner with individuals and organizations for its early literacy program.
Ms. Maria Theresa Tio, Childlink founder and school directress, said they have come up with a module for the Early Literacy program which could be used to develop learning for children aged four to six.
“There are many benefits if we maximize the teaching to young children of pre-school age, that is from 0 to 7 years old. From 0-7 years old, the capability of our brains to absorb information and to learn is exponential,” Ms. Tio said.
She added that the learning ability of children will reduce as they grow older so it would be better to take the opportunity of teaching children in the pre-school so they will have a good start.
“Preschool education will help develop the child’s study habits. It will develop the love for learning and good values,” Ms. Tio pointed out.
“Our school is making modules for Reading, Math, Science and Writing. So, the anchor of the program is really Reading for the students,” she explained.
Teacher Tess Tio, school director explains the importance of a good early childhood education as a way to develop better learners that are more prepared for the rigors of the Elementary to High School education.
Under the program, the teacher reads to the children and after reading, teach the children about letters, numbers, science related to the story read. This will be followed by writing. Childlink started to implement this program this month of October.
The Childlink Parents-Teachers Association bought 25 modules to kick off the program. These modules were given to two institutions namely the Ramon Duterte Memorial National High School and the Cebu City Public Library.
According to Ms. Tio, 15 modules were turned over to the Ramon Duterte Memorial National High School while the remaining 10 modules will go to the Cebu City Public Library.
The teachers at the Ramon Duterte Memorial National High School who will be conducting the classes do this as part of their community extension program.
The Z Club of Childlink High School students tell a story through puppetry at the Cebu City Public Library.
Engaging activities are done by the High School Linkers after every storytelling session.
Meanwhile, a Childlink teacher will be the one to hold classes every Friday at the Cebu City Public Library.
When the program beneficiaries enter formal school, in Kindergarten or Grade 1, they will already be equipped with the basic knowledge such as the sound of the letters, the numbers and the environment. They will also be prepared for writing, Ms. Tio said.
She explained that Childlink will be monitoring the implementation of program to ensure that this is properly implemented. Also, the kids participating in the program are required to finish the sessions to ensure their progress of learning.
The minimum number of sessions is 26. However, teachers may have to increase the sessions up to 52, depending on the situation.
The modules, which are composed of workbooks, will remain in the classroom but these will be given to the child once they have completed the program.
The target beneficiaries are those belonging to the low-income sector who could not afford to send their children to pre-primary educational institutions.
The entire Early Literacy Program kit contains a workbook in Reading, Math, Science, and Writing, crayons, pencil and eraser.
To expand the program, Childlink is now looking for partners who will fund the cost of the modules estimated between P1,000 to P1,200 each. Each module also includes crayons, pencils and erasers.
“I want to help more people in the community but we need partners and organizations who will donate the amount for the modules for their preferred beneficiaries. That’s the only way that this program can benefit more children and our community,” Ms. Tio pointed out.
Childlink will take care of the training of teachers and will monitor the program implementation on behalf of the partners.
Twenty years ago, the school had started implementing its Reading program for the children of families living at the Inayawan dump site. However, the program was discontinued because the mothers/teachers who were trained to implement the program were no longer around.
Linkers do frequent reading sessions with the children at the Batang Mekong Center near the Inayawan dumpsite.
Preschool aged children living near the Inayawan dumpsite receive the gift of books for the reading sessions conducted by the Childlink High School students.
Childlink then decided to revive an enhanced Literacy Program with Reading as the anchor of the program with the added Math, Science and Writing components, Ms. Tio said.
UNICEF also underscored the importance of pre-primary education, noting that children enrolled in at least one year of pre-primary education are more likely to develop the critical skills they need to succeed in school and less likely to repeat grades or drop out.