Smart festival kindles love for stories among Sorsogon kids

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by SMART Public Affairs Sep 19, 2017

[19 September 2017] Smart held a storytelling festival in Sorsogon to instill in children the love for stories and reading.

Even with the proliferation of cartoons and high-tech toys, one activity for kids has never lost its magic: storytelling.

This was evident at the Doon Po Sa Amin Storytelling Festival organized by Smart Communications at Pilar I Central School in Pilar, Sorsogon. Kinder and Grade 1 students from 14 Pilar public schools listened, laughed, and actively participated while Rey Bufi of The Storytelling Project and Grade 6 teacher Lovelyn Arong read them stories such as “Ang Madyik Silya ni Titoy” and “Si Paula Oink-Oink.”

“The children love hearing stories,” said Arong at the culmination of the three-day festival, which included trainings on storytelling and story writing for teachers of the municipality

Three of the training outputs — “Si Goryong Gitara” by Jennifer Aguilar, “Si Bolinaw” by Ivy Balbin, and “Ang Astig Kong Tatay” by Khasie Mae Fajardo — were read before students and guests.

“I realized that I couldn’t just teach children and read stories. I could also write. I am a new teacher so this was a very big deal for me,” said Balbin.

Stephanie Orlino, public affairs senior manager at Smart, said the company was bringing a storytelling caravan to different parts of the country to encourage the love for stories and reading among Filipino children.

“We also want to inspire parents and teachers to tell stories to their children and students,” she said.

According to education experts, storytelling expands children’s vocabulary, develops creative thinking, teaches values, and makes learning more fun.

Adults can use new technologies such as mobile devices and the internet to make story time more fun for kids. They can look for stories online, and look for images that could help children better understand the stories. These are just some of the ways by which technology can help adults connect more deeply with the youth,” Orlino added.

“When Pilar was tapped for this program, I didn’t expect it to be very meaningful and good for the kids. Thank you to Smart for bringing this meaningful experience to the school children and teachers of Pilar,” said town mayor Carolyn Sy-Reyes.

Smart has so far brought the storytelling caravan to Baguio, Manila, Bulacan, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Dumaguete, Bacolod, Davao, Saranggani, Cebu, and Siargao. The sessions have been attended by hundreds of students. The caravan will be brought to more areas in the coming months.

Storytelling remains a hit for kids. Smart is promoting the storytelling tradition to instill in children the love for stories and reading.

The three-day Smart storytelling festival also taught teachers how to write children’s stories. In the photo are Pilar, Sorsogon Mayor Carolyn Sy-Reyes (front row, fifth from right), Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino (front row, third from right), and the teacher participants.

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