Army engineers open mini-library for Northern Samar kids
By Roel Amazona / Philippine News Agency
TACLOBAN CITY – Army engineers have built a mini-library for children in Allen, Northern Samar to help them practice their reading skills during this health crisis.
The military came up with the idea of building the library while implementing a feeding program for 60 children living within the town’s Gawad Kalinga village.
The Aklatang Pambata ng Kawal Inhenyero (Army Engineers Children’s Library) is located inside the Philippine Army's 543rd Engineer Construction Battalion camp in Allen town.
"As we implemented the feeding program, we think of something that can help them learn and develop their reading habits even during the pandemic. This is how the library was created," said battalion commander Lt. Col. Vedasto Cabales in an interview Wednesday.
The library, completed on June 27, has a reading area and a playground.
Ramil Sumangil, founder of “Book For A Cause” provided all the books.
Since its opening, soldiers have been assigned to read to children every Tuesday and Friday. Due to the positive feedback from the community, civilians are also volunteering as book readers to children.
"I can see the willingness of the children, but as of now, we cannot make an assessment yet on their reading comprehensions since we just started," Cabales said.
The library is also equipped with six tablets which the children are allowed to use for an hour based on their school schedules.
Cabales said they expect the arrival of more books within this month, although he did not name the source or the donors.
The incoming books will be sorted out as some will be donated to schools in upland Northern Samar villages.
The Army official added that they are hoping that more people will assist with the project to reach more children as a way to protect young learners from being recruited or from the influence of the New People’s Army. (PNA)