by Joy Gabrido
Do you still remember the last time your parent, guardian or teacher read you a storybook? Wasn’t it exciting? Have you imagined yourself as one of the characters in the story?
Stories bring us to a new dimension while also teaching us a bunch of practical life lessons and values.
However, kids nowadays are too fond of spending time with their gadgets and playing online applications and games. Perhaps the only time they get to read a book is during their Reading subject.
With this in mind, the Laguna Provincial Library came up with the Book Wagon Mobile Library project that promotes the importance of book-reading among young children.
But there is a catch! In this project, storytelling likewise serves as a form of therapy for sick kids who are confined in the hospital.
The project hits two birds in just one stone as it gets to rekindle the interest of children in reading real books while it helps hasten the recuperation and ease the discomfort of sick children through refreshing them with a storytelling session.
The mobile library themed, “Reading Book Story for Children Therapy” will be roving around public hospitals in the province, and the first stop was at the Bay District Hospital in the town of Bay where about 10 confined children were gathered with their parents and guardians last October 16.
Laguna 2ndDistrict Representative Ruth Mariano-Hernandez showed her support to this initiative as she served as the Storyteller for the first batch of children who were blessed by the project.
She chose to tell the story entitled “Papel de Liha.” And since the kids may not know what a papel de liha or sandpaper is, she brought actual sandpaper and showed to the kids how it looks and feels like.
The story tells about how a relative compared the texture of the hands of a hard-working mother to a “papel de liha” or sandpaper. The mother’s child heard about it and tried to search for sandpaper to know what it is and how its texture feels like.
The child found out how rough it is. But he realized that what their relative says about the texture of the hands of his mother was wrong.
Because his mother’s touch doesn’t hurt at all unlike sandpaper, and gives him comfort and keeps their home clean.
He even saw her mother and father hold hands which proves even more that the hands of his mother is incomparable to sandpaper.
Unlike the sandpaper that is coarse and hard, his mother’s rough hands have softened everything it touches. He even wants to be held by his mother’s hand forever.
The story puts smiles on the faces not only of the kids but also their parents and guardians. Everyone must have been able to relate the story with how their mothers take care of them in times of illness.
“We hope that in our own little way we have lighten up and made the children happier through the story,” Cong. Hernandez expressed after she finished storytelling.
Laguna Provincial Library Chief Justina P. Garcia explained that they aim to bring closer the provincial library to the kids who are the country’s future leaders.
“Para po kami rin ay makatulong sa inyong pagbuti ng kalagayang physical, mental at spiritual, iyong atin pong mga children’s books at saka toys ay dinala namin rito para rin ialay sa inyo,” she stated.
(To also help improve your physical, mental and spiritual state, we brought children’s books and toys for you.)
The gift-giving took place after the story was told. Children were given old but still good condition books and toys that were donated by the employees of the provincial government and other private individuals.
Lola Mercy Valenzuela who accompanied her grandson to the activity expressed her gratitude for the opportunity given to the kids including her grandchildren to hear a good story and receive simple gifts.
“Malaking tulong ito kasi masaya at malaking bagay para di sila maligaw ng landas at mawiwili sila na magbasa ng aklat,” said Lola Mercy.
(This kind of activity is a big help because it brings happiness and it is also a great way to lead them into the straight path and for them to be fond of reading books.)
Dr. Petersan Uy of Bay District Hospital said the stories serve as therapy to children when it touches and entertains them.
Dr. Uy, on behalf of the district hospital’s management, felt privileged to be the first venue of the activity and vows support over this kind of initiative that will benefit children especially those who have health conditions.
The Book Wagon Mobile Library is a good step of the provincial government not only towards reviving the interest and love of the young generation towards reading books but also in ensuring the welfare of sickly children. (Joy Gabrido/PIA 4A)