- A high school in Caloocan developed a reading program 12 years ago.
- Youth P.O.W.E.R. challenges students to read at least 20 books in one school year.
For 12 years now, Kalayaan National High School in Caloocan has been running a reading program called Youth P.O.W.E.R. (Promotes Opportunities for Worthwhile and Effective Reading), which challenges their students to finish at least 20 books in one school year.
The program was started in 2007 by reading program coordinator Debby Asuncion. With the help of her then-first year high school students, they conceptualized and developed Youth P.O.W.E.R. It is described as an enhancement program for independent readers and those who finished remedial programs through Department of Education’s Whole School Approach for Non-Readers and Struggling Readers. It is also meant to help develop students’ English skills and encourage them to “speak English without fear, without shame, and without guilt through storytelling.”
As Youth P.O.W.E.R. progressed, it is supervised by Kalayaan National High School’s English Department. The members are in charge of the registration, monitoring, and planning of activities.
Participants are issued with a membership card. Certificates are awarded to those who managed to complete the Twenty Book Challenge and medals are given to the top three students who have read the most books within the year. The program can also earn extra class credits.
The school currently has a population of almost 7,000 students.
In line with the school’s advocacy, the Whole School Approach for Non-Readers and Struggling Readers 2012 states that there has been an increase in the number of young readers in the country and more Filipinos spend more time reading. It also pointed out factors that affect readership like education, income, civil status, and the availability of reading materials.