Childlink Learning Center & High School Inc., in partnership with the Cebu City Public Library, has recently concluded its highly successful Cebu City Summer Early Literacy Program, leaving a lasting impact on children aged four to six. This groundbreaking initiative, spearheaded by Childlink’s founder and school directress, Ms. Maria Theresa Tio, has taken early childhood education to new heights, utilizing the power of reading to foster holistic development and a love for learning among young minds.
The program’s culminating event, held at the esteemed Cebu City Public Library, saw the beaming faces of children as they received their certificates of completion from Ms. Tio and Chief Librarian Rosario Chua. The Summer Early Literacy Program is the flagship project of Childlink, designed to engage children in a multidisciplinary approach to learning by using books as a catalyst for developing reading, language, science, and math skills.
“In our early literacy program, we prioritize not only reading but also writing and speaking,” Ms. Tio explained. By integrating these three components, Childlink aims to nurture the child’s passion for learning, creating a strong foundation for future academic pursuits. The program takes place weekly at the Children’s Section of the Cebu City Public Library, which boasts a collection of books generously donated by Zonta of Cebu II.
Childlink Learning Center & High School Inc. has long been committed to community outreach programs, including book donations and reading sessions. Ms. Tio emphasized the positive impact the program has had on past communities served by Childlink. Reading, she noted, has the power to connect to other subjects like mathematics and science, fostering a holistic understanding of the world.
The ages of four to six mark a critical period in children’s literacy development. Reading not only sparks curiosity and stimulates imagination but also lays the foundation for various essential skills, such as empathy and problem-solving, as children grow and engage in role-play.
During the program, teachers read stories to the children, and afterwards, introduce them to letters, numbers, and science concepts related to the story. Writing is also emphasized as a vital component of the program. The target beneficiaries of this initiative are children from low-income families who may not have access to pre-primary educational institutions.
Ms. Tio passionately called on companies and non-government organizations to collaborate with Childlink in expanding the program’s reach to benefit even more children. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who graced the culminating event, emphasized the urgency of addressing the literacy crisis, highlighting the alarming number of students who struggle with reading even at higher grade levels.
The importance of pre-primary education was underscored by UNICEF, emphasizing that children enrolled in at least one year of pre-primary education are more likely to develop critical skills necessary for success in school, reducing grade repetition and drop-out rates.
Childlink’s Early Literacy Summer Program has become a beacon of hope in Cebu City, igniting a passion for reading and nurturing young minds for a brighter future. As they continue to empower children through the magic of books, their transformative impact reaches far beyond the summer months, shaping the educational landscape for generations to come.