Last Friday, July 9, I attended the launching of the RUN TO READ, a fundraising activity which aims to build libraries for school children. It is purely a personal advocacy, fueled and driven all by heart, and is not backed by major corporate sponsor.
The proponent of this fundraising run is currently out of the country so she wasn’t around for its launch but she made her presence known through a video presentation where she shared to the group her love for reading. Work temporarily put her physical activities on hold, being an athlete in her student days, but is now on the road to getting back in shape through running.
She considered herself fortunate to be introduced to reading books at an early age, a privilege not all many children in the country could have. This is the main reason why she wanted to have a fun run that will help build libraries so that these children would have access to books and libraries.
Before I’ll proceed to the meat of this fun run, allow me to share with you a quick glance of the current status of Philippine public libraries.
I came across with an online resource which says, "In an article published in the Feb. 21, 2010 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Dioso Library’s Founder & Executive Director wrote the Inquirer a letter, entitled, “Recipe to make our kids regular readers: More reading programs plus more public libraries.”
In the letter, it pointed out two important issues: promoting reading programs that will make children readers for life and access to books and reading materials. Reading programs like read-a-longs can help spark a child’s interest in books and reading.
However, the main problem lies not with the programs but with the availability of libraries in the country. Our country doesn’t have enough public libraries to meet the need of our fast growing population. This problem is further aggravated by the fact that quite a significant number of existing public libraries have insufficient personnel and funds, inadequately equipped, and terribly not in good physical condition.
There are currently 688 public libraries in the country, of all types: 4 congressional, 52 provincial, 97 city, and 535 municipal. (Source: National Library)
Furthermore, Republic Act 7743, enacted June 17, 1994, mandates the creation and operation of a public library in every congressional district, city and municipality throughout the country.
With RA 7743 as basis, there should have been a total of 1,851 libraries, one for each of the country’s 220 congressional districts, 136 cities, and 1,495 municipalities.
This affects some 40% of the population or nearly 40 million Filipinos as it unacceptably deprives our children of a resource that could spell a difference for their future.
This is where the National Bookstore’s Buklat Aklat program comes in. With its RUN TO READ fun run, created to raise funds to build Leave-Behind public libraries, not only for rural and urban areas but also for the disadvantaged sector of the society as well.
National Bookstore, being the largest books and supplies store, has provided the consumers affordable educational commodities. One of its core values is to help disadvantaged children. Thus, in 2004 National Book Store Foundation, Inc. (NBSFI) was established to implement NBS’ efforts to uplift the lives of the disadvantaged children through education empowerment.
NBSFI’s vision is to see a future where all children are educated and are in schools and its mission is to provide every child access to quality education.
Guided by this vision and mission, NBSFI has implemented the Buklat Aklat Mobile Library, a project that introduces a wide range of outstanding children’s literature, both fiction and non-fiction, to students from grades one to six.
Its collection consists of 500 volumes of carefully chosen children’s books, which covers subjects in science, literature, and Philippine culture and values suited to children with ages ranging from three to twelve years old. Seventy percent of the collections are bilingual and published in the Philippines.
The mobile library visits public elementary schools and daycare centers all over the Philippines.
Reading and story telling sessions, book talks, workshops for teachers and parents, employee involvement, and stakeholders’ participation are some of the foundation’s activities.
Another project of NBSFI is the Buklat Aklat Leave Behind Library, an offshoot of the mobile library project consisting of similar collection but has more reading materials. Unlike the mobile library, the Buklat Aklat Leave Behind Library is donated to a chosen institution so that children can have access to good quality reading materials.
On top of this, NBSFI intensified its fundraising efforts through different projects like the NBSFI Coin Bank, Handog Ko, Aklat Mo also known as Project Aklat, Project Aral, field trips, donations of school supplies, textbooks, and references, and Balik Paaralan Project among others.
If you wish to take part in any of the efforts towards the improvement of education, please do not hesitate to contact NBSFI at (632) 631.8061 to 66 or (632) 634.0876 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know More ... Read More ... Be More
RUN TO READ Fun Run Details
RUN TO READ Fun Run
15 August 15 2010
Bonifacio Global City
500-meter dash for kids with their Moms or Dads, 3KM, 5KM, 10KM, 15KM categories
Run to Read Running Clinic
An informative Sports Running Clinic for new runners will be held on July 28th on the basics of running, healthy living and the great cause behind the RUN TO READ Fun Run.
Singlet and Bib Number Colors
Bib numbers are color-coded. For the singlet, however, you can choose from any of the available colors below. Cool, isn't it?
Secondwind Store QC
88 Maginhawa Street
Diliman Quezon City
Secondwind Store Ortigas
Ortigas Home Depot
1 Dona Julia Vargas Avenue
Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
All Terra Cyclery
Libis, Quezon City
BrandWorX, Inc Head Office
Penthouse Eurovilla 2 Building
V.A. Rufino Street, Makati City
B3, Bonifacio High Street
Reebok Branches at Festival Supermall, SM Megamall, and TriNoma
Royal Sporting House Branches at AliMall, Glorietta 4, and Robinson’s Place Ermita
Registration may also be done online through runnersrunner.com. Early registrants registering from July 1-15, get a Php 50.00 off the registration fee.
Registration for RUN TO READ Fun Run is from July 1 to August 8.
Fees to participate in the run are from P350 to P500 depending on the distance.
Prizes like Sony Ericsson phones, duffle bags, $250 electronic credit voucher, Monterey products like watches, gift certificates, umbrellas, reusable bags, ballpens as well as T-shirts will be raffled.
RUN TO READ is an effort in participation with National Bookstore, Bonifacio Global City, The Philippine Star, Sony Ericsson, MomsToday, Health Today, Pocari Sweat, Toby’s Sports, Delta Airlines, Tapa King, Yellow Cab, Reebok, and Drypers Wee Wee DRY diapers.
Be up to date with RUN TO READ, visit run4change/runtoread and Facebook/runtoread. For inquiries, email email@example.com.
SEE YOU AT THE STARTING LINE!