MANILA, Philippines?Young readers, not to mention the young-at-heart, are in for a treat within the pages of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in the next eight weeks.
In partnership with fashion brand Bench, newsprint supplier Norske Skog of Norway and the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), the Inquirer is proud to sponsor a literacy program that will be launched simultaneously by newspapers all over the world on Sept. 8, which UNESCO has declared International Literacy Day.
Parents, teachers and all others who desire to raise lifelong readers will be happy to know that the Inquirer?s Learning section will be running an engaging eight-part serialized story for children, complete with artwork, activity guides and sidebar stories on the coral reef.
?Frannie Learns a Lesson? is the story of Frannie the Fish and her adventures with her classmates under the sea. It was written by Cathy Sewell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri, USA) and Jennifer Hermes, also of Missouri. Illustrations are courtesy of multi-awarded cartoonist Glenn McCoy, who has designed for, among others, Dreamworks and Walt Disney TV.
To add more fun and excitement to the literacy series, the country?s No. 1 daily is also running an art contest and a writing contest open to all grade school students, prizes for which will be sponsored by Flik Flak watch and National Book Store, respectively.
A winner will be named every week for the art contest. The writing contest will involve the whole class and the teacher and will be awarded after publication of the series.
Ready to use
Frannie?s story will take the place of the usual Inquirer in Education (IIE) lesson plan in the Learning section for the next eight Mondays.
The series will give families at home and teachers at school the opportunity to use the newspaper?s ready-to-use activities focusing on reading, writing, artistic expression, sea life, and values like openness to learning, compassion, cooperation and conflict resolution, respect, family life, as well as caring for the environment.
In addition to promoting literacy, the ?Frannie? series is an auspicious vehicle for launching IIE?s sponsored subscription program for classrooms that use the Inquirer as a learning tool.
Bench is paying for the subscription to the Inquirer on the next eight Mondays for seven sections of either fourth or fifth graders at four elementary schools in Metro Manila.
The pilot partner schools are P. Guevarra Elementary School in Binondo and Legarda Elementary School in Sampaloc, both in Manila, as well as Claret School and Miriam High School, both in Quezon City.
Language teachers from these schools have attended a brief ?Learning with the Inquirer? workshop, a full version of which will soon be offered to interested school districts or schools in the country.
The student?s copy may be brought home so that the family may share in the excitement and experience of the stories. It is suggested that parents take the time to go over the ?Frannie? series with the children and use the story to kick off the daily newspaper reading habit among all family members.
An integral part of the Learning section, the IIE program has been inspired by WAN?s Newspaper in Education (NIE) program whose main objective upon its launch in 1955 was to promote reading, comprehension and writing skills through the use of the newspaper.
At its inception, the NIE program made day-old newspapers available to schools. Today, schools in many countries pay for classroom copies of the newspaper at a discounted price.
However, most public school students in the Philippines cannot afford the price of a newspaper, not even the discounted subscription rate.
To make the Inquirer available to public schools at no cost to teachers or students, the company has initiated the IIE Sponsored Subscription for Schools program wherein corporations, groups and individuals can donate copies of the newspaper for classroom use in either the government-run school of their choice or the classrooms of teachers who have registered with the Inquirer?s Learning section.
Alumni associations are also welcome to pledge copies of the paper to their alma mater.
Donors pay for classroom copies of the newspaper, while the Inquirer takes care of the lesson plans, activity guides, contests, as well as teacher workshops.
Besides in-paper serial stories like ?Frannie? that target literacy, IIE will be coming out with thematic study guides on history, heritage, banking and creativity in cooperation with civic organizations and corporate social responsibility units of major businesses.
For more information on how to donate newspaper copies to schools, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call tel. 8978808 ext. 399.