The Asia Foundation Revitalizing Educational Opportunities in the Island Province of Catanduanes

Virac, Catanduanes, July 1, 2010 — Today, 13,600 new children’s books and high school texts and college reference materials were distributed in the picturesque but typhoon-prone province of Catanduanes.  More than 280 public and private schools benefited from the books’ donation, which was made possible through the Books for Asia program of The Asia Foundation.

Those scheduled to attend include: Catanduanes Gov. Joseph C. Cua, Virac Mayor Jose U. Alberto II, Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento, Philippine Judicial Academy Chancellor Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, Regional Trial Court Presiding Judge Hon. Lelu P. Contreras, Bishop of Diocese of Virac, Most Rev. Manolo A. de Los Santos, D.D., Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Artemio Rivera, and other officers of the city government.  Mr. Ky Johnson, Deputy Country Representative of The Asia Foundation, and Mr. Efren N. Balajadia, Director of the Books for Asia Program will present the donated texts to representatives of elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities.

“The Asia Foundation is proud to work with local leaders and citizens on long-term efforts to revitalize educational opportunities, which will in turn help recovery,” said The Asia Foundation’s Ky Johnson.  “Through this donation of books, we hope to foster enthusiasm among students for reading, which can help them to greater achievements in school, even during difficult times.”

Mr. Balajadia, from The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program, said, “It is my hope that these books and materials can help schoolchildren to revive and sustain their love of reading, especially in the midst of severe and ongoing challenges.”

Gov. Joseph Cua supported that, “The Asia Foundation’s priceless gifts will go a long way towards improving a lot of our schools and our school children. We shall cherish those presents and we thank you for you for making this a worthwhile milestone. We can assure you that many parents and teachers will appreciate your generosity in providing learning materials to help elevate the literacy among our children and teachers as well. And we believe that as children have access to books and, they will be able to study more and have a better understanding and appreciation of the world we live in.”

Judge Lelu Contreras said, “Catanduanes is, indeed, very fortunate for being a recipient of the generosity of the Books for Asia Program of The Asia Foundation. With this donation, books are now within reach of the schoolchildren, who may find their future lying between the pages of a book.”

DepEd Division Superintendent Dr. Artemio Rivera added that, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”

The donation and delivery was made in cooperation with local governments and private partners, and will enhance the schools and libraries of communities in Catanduanes as part of a wider effort throughout the Philippines. For 55 years, The Asia Foundation has supported local communities to improve education for students.

The Asia Foundation gratefully acknowledges the continued support of public and private partners in this endeavor, including the provincial government of Catanduanes and the Municipality of Virac for encouraging education and literacy; Aboitiz2Go for its help shipping the donated books; and American publishers such as the McGraw-Hill Companies and Pearson Education for their donations of brand new books ranging from elementary through university levels.

About Books for Asia

Books for Asia is The Asia Foundation’s longest running program and regularly distributes books and other reading materials for all educational levels in over 18 countries.  Since it was started in September 1954, The Books for Asia program has distributed nearly 45 million books and journals to more than 50,000 academic and non-academic institutions throughout Asia.  The Philippines alone has been a recipient of 13 million books and journals to public and private institutions across the country.  More than 95 percent of Books for Asia’s donations are new textbooks, donated by U.S. publishers.

The reading materials range from the elementary level to professional level, covering such fields as government, business, health, environment, information technology, social science, and international relations.  Books for Asia has made a significant contribution to education in the Philippines, especially since resources for instruction tools and facilities are scarce.  All educational levels have benefited from this program.  Basic textbooks and supplementary reading materials have been donated to schools and libraries all over the country.  NGOs are also recipients of valuable resource materials from Books for Asia.

For more information about the Books for Asia program in the Philippines, visit Books for Asia in the Philippines.

Related programs: Books for Asia

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