First National Congress
6-7 December 2004, Cebu City, Philippines

Makati Reading Together Club: Community Partnership Improves Reading
by Cecilia Dimaculangan
Makati City Schools Division

Community collaboration inspired the beginning of the Makati Reading Together Club, which aims to improve the students' love for reading through frequent reading practice and interactive learning sessions, assess students' development in their reading abilities, and provide books appropriate to students' reading level to promote love for reading.

A profiling of reading literacy competency levels of Grades 2 and 3 students from DepEd - Division of Makati City was conducted last September 2003. Ninety-one percent of the students were diagnosed as pre-primer readers, which is two to three notches below their expected reading level. These results prompted the Makati City Schools Division to collaborate with various communities to help implement the Reading Together Club as an intervention strategy to help address the students reading needs.

Carefully chosen Reading teachers were trained to facilitate learning sessions utilizing activity modules integrated with Reading intervention strategies and to act as reading mentors to club members from November 2003 to January 2004. A radio show also became a venue for members to demonstrate the reading abilities they had developed. Parents took on the important role of providing moral support for their children. Monitoring activities were conducted to gather feedback that took into account the diverse views of the teachers, students and parents.

Of the 600 students invited to join the club membership program, a total of 390 pupils participated in the club activities and 278 members underwent the post-diagnosis test. After two months of program implementation, post diagnosis results indicated that the reading performance of the 278 members had increased by 15%, a significant improvement.

In addition to the improved reading abilities of its members, the program highlights the concerted efforts of the school administrators, parents, the local government, and industry.


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