Read to Learn
Read to Learn is a partnership of Ronald Mac Donald House Charities (RMHC) with the Department of Education under the Adopt-A-School Program. This program aims to help children learn how to read by targeting to reach all multi-grade public schools in the country.
Specifically the Read to Learn Program aims to:
1. Increase access to reading materials that can enrich and facilitate the reading and language skills of grades 1 and 2 students.
2. Provide teacher’s training for public school teachers in teaching beginning reading.
To date Ronald Mc Donald’s Read to Learn already partnered with 9,814 schools, trained 27,046 educators and distributed 334,708 books.
The teacher-participants underwent an intensive three-day training on beginning reading. They were taught how to use the developed tool kit for beginning reading designed by reading experts like Dr. Nemah Hermosa and Dr. Felicitas Pado and their colleagues. The “four-pronged approach” in beginning reading was discussed in detail during the training.
I was invited by Adarna House to be one of the teacher-trainors in the Tacloban leg of Read to Learn Teacher Training last May 25-27, 2019. As one of the teacher-trainors, I was happy to hear about the positive feedback from the teachers after the workshop. They said that they learned something new and they are excited to try out the reading strategies they learned from the workshop. They are grateful for McDonalds House Charities and Adarna House for all the training, learning, and the reading kits they received.
RTL Kits Given to Schools
Ronald Mc Donalds House Charities gave out reading kits to the participating schools. The teachers could use these materials in their respective multi-grade classrooms. The kit consists of 34 illustrated bigbooks (28 in Filipino, 6 in English), grades 1 and 2 workbooks with 200 activity sheets, and multi-grade lesson plans from Adarna House, Alphabet chart, reading charts, and read to learn banner.
Problem of Students in the Public Schools
Read to Learn program addresses the problem of children in the public schools which is not being able to read even after completing 1st grade. Read to Learn targets to develop in children the following using the Four-Pronged Approach which consists of: 1) A genuine love for reading; critical thinking skills; 2) and grammar oral language development; 3) reading and writing skills, and 4) decoding and encoding.
The Four Pronged Approach
Prong 1: Develop Genuine Love for Reading
The aim of the 1st Prong is to learn to love reading through stories. Unlocking of words, motivation/ motive questions, and story reading are all part of this prong.
Prong 2: Critical Thinking Skills
In this part of the Prong the students are trained to think critically. Use of engagement activities are employed in this part.
Prong 3: Grammar Oral Language Development
This part enhances a child’s oral and language development through teaching, modeling, guided practice and independent practice.
Prong 4: Transfer Stage
Transfer stage aims to teach the readers to decode using the Fuller Approach in English (Learning the Consonants Using the Fuller Technique)) and the Marungko Approach in Filipino.
Teachers’ Increase in Knowledge After the RTL Training
The participating teachers were given pre-tests and post-tests before and after the workshop. U.P. Professor and head facilitator of the RTL Program, Prof. Portia Padilla, made a data analysis of paired t-tests of the three RTL legs (Butuan, Surigao, and Tacloban). Results yield that there are significant increase in the results in the teacher-participants knowledge of 1) relevant concepts in beginning reading/early literacy, 2) teaching beginning reading thru the Four Pronged Approach, and 3) phonemes.
Impact on Students
Results of the RTL program shows that there are significant gains for the participating children in the areas of listening ability, visual discrimination skills, letter recognition, and ability to read words and phrase.
Hooray for programs like these! And hopefully there will be more programs like this that aims to develop literacy in our country.