Standing on the open court of Magulon Elementary School in Lamut, Ifugao are three colorful reading hubs or kiosks, plastered with reading materials and engaging activities for Grade 1 to Grade 6.
The establishment of these reading hubs and development of engaging games for the 130 pupils of the school are all part of Project FOHE or Fluency Obtained through Hub and Exposure that aims to increase the reading competencies of the learners while they are having fun. These reading hubs and kiosks were built by volunteer parents of the pupils.
In accordance to the Project BIDBID or Bridging Individual Difficulty by Innovating Designs in Reading that was started by the Ifugao Department of Education-Schools Division Office (DepEd-SDO) last year, the teachers of Magulon Elementary School, headed by their School Principal Sharon M. Ganigan, initiated Project FOHE on October 2022.
Ganigan explained that ‘fohe’ is a local term for ‘good,’ which they used for the project because they aim to develop good reading competency among their learners.
She elaborated that they were challenged and inspired to come up with the project after witnessing the learners’ struggles in reading when they resumed face-to-face classes after the pandemic.
The reading materials and activities posted on the reading hubs are changed weekly by the teachers.
Aside from this, a portion of the court was also painted with engaging activities, which are street games-inspired commonly played by the pupils, such as ‘piko’.
Big images of box-like shapes were painted on the floor that contains words, phrases, or sentences. The player-learner needs to read what is on the box to hop onto the next level/box.
According to Ganigan, formulating these games are one of their ways in exposing the learners that reading can be fun.
Furthermore, to utilize the community library housed at the school and was launched on March 15, 2023, the teachers organized a scheduled library hour for all the grade levels.
Michelle Cutiyog, Grade 6 teacher at Magulon Elementary School, expressed that the exposure of the learners in the library and reading help them in discussing the lessons easier.
“The comprehension of the learners has improved through their reading habits in the library because they become familiar with the words that also helped in their understanding of lessons,” Cutiyog stated.
Further, the teachers have systematic and organized folders for each of the students, where the learners can list down all the title of the books, they have read in one school year.
At the end of the school year, Ganigan elaborated that they aim to give recognition and commendation to the student with highest number of read books.
She explained that this is their one way of encouraging students and establishing interest on reading among the learners, especially on their vacant hours.
Every Monday, the pupils from Grade 1 to Grade 6 were also scheduled in retelling the stories they have read after their flag raising ceremony.
Lotis Mendoza, kindergarten teacher and community library in-charge, shared, “Aside from their reading competency, this activity [retelling of stories] also develops the public speaking skills of the pupils and their self-confidence.”
With this, some of the Grade 6 pupils also shared their experience that they were nervous at first to talk in front of their schoolmates, but eventually overcome this and developed their self-confidence.
Ganigan also recognized the volunteerism of the parents and industriousness of the teachers in working hand-in-hand to the implementation of the Project FOHE.
With this, she asked the parents of the pupils to continuously guide and help their children in reading and holistic learning despite their busy work schedules.
On the other hand, Ganigan also shared that they are looking for book donors, especially on Filipino storybooks to balance the reading competency of learners in English and Filipino.By Crael B. Lawa