Book reading and story-telling are still the traditional way to divert the children’s cyber or digital game addiction that is prevalent nowadays.
Two Laguna mall public relations practitioners shared their observations to Philippine News Agency on Friday after the mall here and in nearby Calamba City staged their book reading and story-telling sessions in observance of the National Children’s Book Reading Day (NCBRD) every third Tuesday in July.
SM City San Pablo public relations manager Niña Wong said the NCBRD occasion held at the mall last July 17 also coincided with the SM’s 10th year advocacy in the promotion of literacy development among kids and mallers.
“Anybody can be a storyteller and a good model for using language and books. Your child will learn by watching you and listening to the story you read aloud,” Wong said.
She said the learning sessions, through book reading and storytelling, have even captivated, not only the more than 50 school children gathered at event site, but also the grown-ups.
“The reading sessions provide the special time you spend reading together, promote bonding and build relationship at home and at any suitable venues like the mall arena,” Wong said.
The mall’s assistant manager Dan Belen also shared that reading can help children develop early literacy skills, spark their imagination and stimulate curiosity.
During the book reading sessions, the SM mall featured the city’s Sangguniang Kabataan Chair Ace Manalo and “Mutya ng San Pablo” first runner up Elisha Aramil as story tellers.
The featured story-tellers taught the school kids and young shoppers the moral lessons of the stories and encouraged the students to develop their reading habits amid the millennials’ penchant for the techie gadgets nowadays.
The school kids also received their gift packs containing children’s books and “Project Aral” kits from the National Bookstore, as one of SM Cares’ partners.
Wong said SM mall also donated assorted books to this city’s Barangay San Rafael Day Care Center, Margarita Lauro Lopez School and the Del Remedio Elementary School.
Meanwhile, SM City Calamba public relations officer Karen Christine H. Tiqui also said that one of the SM Supermall’s advocacies is “to make our malls not just child-friendly but to be a venue for learning, where we can re-enforce traditional values and child development.”
“National Children’s Book Reading Day (NCBRD) is part of SM Cares’ program for children in its education advocacy by promoting literacy and encouraging children to develop their love for reading at an early age,” Tiqui said.
She said that the book-reading event at the SM mall in Calamba also commemorated the publication of National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal’s classic fable “Ang Pagong at Ang Matsing” (the turtle and the monkey).
The more than 50 student participants also received their books “to jump start their daily reading habit,” she added.
The NCBRD event is a yearly partnership and undertaking of the Department of Education (DepEd), UNICEF, National Bookstore, Vibal Publishing Inc., Anvil Publishing and the SM Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of the SM Prime Holdings Inc. (PNA)