Valenzuela City’s Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Office recently received fun and enjoyable educational books and toys from Save the Children International, which shall be utilized for the study and play sessions of 2,000 homeschooled toddlers in the city.
On November 4, 2013, Valenzuela City Mayor REX T. Gatchalian signed a memorandum of understanding with Save the Children International Senior Manager Edwin Philip Horca, to forge partnership aimed at putting premium to the development of children aged zero to four years old, through more responsive parenting and increased community support.
Mayor REX is thankful that the organization has chosen Valenzuela City to become one of its local government unit-beneficiaries. He said, “Fortunately, we already have an organized mechanism here in the city to tap parents who are financially challenged, but are willing to send their toddlers for early childhood education. I am confident that this endeavor that we are going to implement will reap success.”
ECCD, which is under the umbrella of Valenzuela City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), presently employs 80 teachers who are tasked to search for economically depressed neighborhoods wherein they could set-up alternative venues for collective home-based learning. The teachers meet their young students twice a week in available covered courts, churches, or parking lots.
Save the Children International has already donated 28 sets of significant learning tools to ECCD. The materials include illustration books written in Filipino, number blocks, alphabet puzzles, construction boxes, color tablets, and geometrical shape boards to name a few. Mayor REX committed to purchase equivalent number of materials to augment its availability for the ECCD teachers.
“First Read Curriculum” will also be rolled out soon by the partner-agencies. This program shall include play group sessions focusing on arts and crafts, games and songs, and storytelling. A feeding session will also be incorporated to promote proper nutrition habits among children.
Parents of these homeschooled children are considered as stakeholders by ECCD. They are involved in playgroup sessions and they are also trained of parent education for they are pooled as volunteers later on. Keen observation of children’s rights is strongly emphasized in their training module.
An earlier event called "Booklatan sa Bayan" was supported by Save the Children International together with National Book Development Board (NBDB) and Prudence Foundation on August 16, 2013. In this program, over 150 parents were taught of useful storytelling techniques to instill love of reading among kids. Artists and educators Genaro Cruz, Fredyl Fernandez and Alma Quinto facilitated the activities. Valenzuelano and 2013 Makata ng Taon Joselito delos Reyes also performed poetry in Filipino.
Aside from Valenzuela City, the international organization has also partnered with the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Taguig, and the municipality of Pateros in Luzon. Its chosen beneficiaries in Mindanao include the provinces of South Cotabato and Sarangani.