Save the Children + Adarna House: First, Read

“In other words, if early experiences with books and reading are fun, exciting, and enjoyable for a child, that child is likely to continue to feel that way about reading throughout life.”
—Emergent Literacy: Investing Early for Exponential Outcomes
(Save the Children US, Department of Education and Child Development)

Shared early literacy experiences build meaningful emotional bonds between parent and child, and also boost brain and language development. For many years, Save the Children Philippines, local arm of the world’s leading independent children’s organization, and Adarna House, pioneering creator of Filipino content, have worked together towards the shared goal of creating better lives for children through reading.

Foremost in this partnership is the Manguna sa Unang Pagbasa project, a writing contest for short stories and book concepts held in 2014 and 2016. The project resulted in three outstanding board books for children 0-4 years old.

Launched first was the winner of the first Manguna sa Unang Pagbasa contest, Dumaan si Butiki. Written by Gigi Constantino and illustrated by Ray Sunga, the board book challenges readers to find butiki on every page while teaching them about directions. Dumaan si Butiki was given a National Children’s Book Award in 2016 with this citation:

Sino ang mag-aakala na eksayting ang paglalakbay ng isang butiki? Sobrang nakakaaliw ang pagsulpot-sulpot kung saan-saang bahagi ng bahay ng butiki sa kuwento. Ang simpleng teksto ay nagamit pa upang ituro ang konsepto ng kabaliktaran, sa paraang kaaya-aya. Kung kaya, hindi ka magsasawa sa pagsubaybay sa lahat ng dinaanan ni Butiki. —Kristine Canon

From the same contest came the manuscript for Maghapon Namin ni Nanay, written by Genaro Gojo Cruz and illustrated by Nicole Lim. One of Adarna House’s bestselling board books, this is a tribute to the stay-at-home mother, whose presence fills her children’s day with happiness as they go through the day’s activities together.

The winner of the second Manguna sa Unang Pagbasa contest was Kayang-kaya! by Alyssa Judith Reyes. The story, illustrated by Liza Flores, encourages children to do things on their own and in process, develop self-confidence. This is also Adarna House’s first manipulative book, featuring a lacing toy on its back cover.

Because of partners like Save the Children Philippines, Adarna House now has a robust shelf of board books that help parents jumpstart their children’s reading journey. By working together, Save the Children Philippines and Adarna House hope to keep inspiring families to learn and above all, to read together.


Until June 22, these board books (and all other items) will be on sale at 20% OFF at the Adarna House Quezon City bookshop (Sct Torillo cor Sct Fernandez Sts) and online (https://adarna.com.ph/discount/BACK2SCH2019).

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Filed under Adarna House, Featured, Literature & Literacy

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