We Have A Dream!
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Published on Jan 30, 2013
ONE MILLION BOOKS IN FIVE YEARS.
An estimated 11 million Filipinos as functionally illiterate -- they recognize and can read words but don't understand what they're reading. Meanwhile, only 45 children out of every 100 who enter school are able to graduate from high school.
The reasons for these are not difficult to see. Poverty and other external circumstances beyond their control (e.g., displacement due to calamities such as typhoon, earthquake and conflict) can and do keep children out of school and unable to reach their full potential.
Books provide more than just an escape. We believe that children who learn not merely to read, but to love books are truly able to acquire the lifelong skill of reading. And with that skill, they are able to continuously grow, whether or not they are in school.
CANVAS stories, too, are deliberately published as high quality, full color books featuring original stories written by some of the best young Filipino writers and illustrated by some of the best young Filipino artists today. They reflect the love these writers and artists have for their craft, and by giving them directly to disadvantaged children in schools, hospitals and communities throughout the Phlippines, help to demonstrate to them that they are not forgotten and that we recognize, in them, tremendous potential for our country's future.
Over the past two years, CANVAS has given away 25,000 books to children who would not otherwise have had the chance to own such books.
And just this year, CANVAS, with the help of professional psychologists and scientists, has started to develop modules to use the books to help alleviate the trauma suffered by children displaced by calamity or conflict; and to understand climate change and other environmental factors that are affecting how and where they now live. In a sense, children are more able to both see love and to move forward and live life the way they would hope to live it.
These modules can also be used, even by children born in more fortunate circumstances, as a way to develop empathy, in the hope that they too will learn and be inspired to help those with less.
CANVAS works with other nonprofits and groups who work directly with children in these communities, and has inspired a growing number of corporations eager to share their resources. We will continue to work to generate greater awareness and participation in this effort to help children to learn to love books, and have set an ambitious goal of getting one million books in the next five years in their hands.
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