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Reading, storytelling program aims to empower remote communities

Each “Book Nook” will also serve as a “culture space” for storytelling, arts and crafts, reading and writing workshops

A reading and storytelling program dubbed “The Book Nook” has been launched this year to promote functional literacy in several remote communities in the Philippines.

“The pandemic and the quarantines will one day come to an end,” said Charisse Aquino-Tugade, executive director of the National Book Development Board (NBDB).

“But children, and even adults, will always have a need to share and experience their own stories,” she said.

Aquino-Tugade expressed hope that the project will enhance “nation building and cultural empowerment” as books are brought closer to the homes of those living in remote villages.

The project aims to establish more than 50 “Book Nook” sites across the country by the end of 2021.

Each site will house a collection of Filipino-authored and published children’s books, young adult novels and series, academic books, comics, classics, and mother tongue publications.

Each “Book Nook” will also serve as a “culture space” for storytelling, arts and crafts, reading and writing workshops, and book club meetings.

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The NBDB will be working with local government units, civil society and non-government organizations, educational institutions in putting together the “Book Nooks” and in conducting training programs to enhance storytelling sessions.

Book Nook members will be encouraged to organize their own events to provide their communities the tools to read and even write their own stories.

Aquino-Tugade said that with the prevailing health restrictions due to the pandemic, people are not expected to flock to the “Book Nooks.”

“But we would like for these sites to be ready for our local communities when borders open up once again,” she said.

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