“My favorite color is yellow while my favorite animal is the elephant,” Eddrose said.
According to her grandmother, Rosita, who brings her to the nearby day care center everyday, Eddrose enjoyed drawing and coloring at home even before starting school.
“She already learned the letters of the alphabet and now she wants to learn how to read. She doesn’t mind waking up at 6.30 a.m. to get ready for her 7 a.m. class. She is very enthusiastic about going to school,” Rosita said.
Though Eddrose is eager to learn how to read, there are no available reading materials at home. “There are no books at home but I’m happy because there are some books at school,” Eddrose said. “I get to hear stories from my teachers and read together with my friends,” she added.
Both of Eddrose’s parents have a hearing impairment which makes it difficult for them to assist her learning at home. Her grandmother Rosita said, “It is sometimes difficult for Eddrose to study and do her homework because she is not able to communicate with her parents well. I help her with her assignments, but it’s very difficult since I also attend to other household chores.”
Eddrose’s family is among the partner families of Save the Children’s First Read project in the district of Tondo in Manila City. The project aims to improve cognitive development, literacy and numeracy skills and school readiness in children 0-4 years old through increasing support and resources for early childhood care and development (ECCD). One of the project strategies is to improve access to toys and high quality, age-appropriate local/national books.
Asked how provision of toys and reading materials to their day care center could benefit children like her, Eddrose said, “I’m excited to hear stories and read more books in class. I will study hard while I’m little so that I could become a teacher and doctor when I grow up.”
Eddrose’s parents are also set to attend the project’s parent education sessions which aim to strengthen parents’ and caregivers’ capacity to support their children’s development. The sessions will introduce the use of books, toys and positive parenting approaches to engage with children 0-4 at home and in the community.
Save the Children, through the First Read project, ensures the continued commitment and support for ECCD activities through partnerships with the local government and local agencies, community groups and other key stakeholders in order to improve literacy and numeracy skills of children.