While reading is fun and writing is a form of self-expression, these two things are not just for enjoyment. These are actually tools that can be used towards developing better God-fearing citizens. Here are some of our simple suggestions on how we can harness these for nation-building
Volunteer to teach kids to read and write
Education is a basic right of children. But unfortunately, due to economic circumstances, not everyone is afforded that right. Set aside time in your busy schedule and look for organizations in your area that teaches these basic skills to young ones. Or if your community doesn’t have one, gather up the troops and start a simple, free reading and writing tutorial center.
Organize a weekly storytelling session
For kids who already know how to read, but don’t have any interest to do so outside of their schools: gather them once a week at the barangay hall or even your house and use creative activities to get them interested in reading. Use books that have strong Filipino Christian values and build activities around the books’ themes.
Start a community mini-library
Get your family, friends and colleagues to donate used children’s books and old school books. You can use a room in a church, barangay hall or town hall to store the books and get a few chairs, tables and pillows and you have yourself a community library. You can even ask donations from local publishers and bookshops.
Mentor potential writers
If you have the skill and training for journalistic and/or creative writing, volunteer to do a writing workshop in your old elementary or high school and choose 3-5 kids that you can personally mentor to further develop their talent. These kids might be the future hard-hitting journalists or eye-opening authors that our country needs.
If you feel like you’re not ready yet to write a book, but you have great, well-informed opinions about current events, politics, Filipino culture and society, don’t let your writing talent go to waste. Start a blog or contribute to newspapers and magazines. Be active on social networks to get your ideas out there. Your views and ideas might inspire others to make great changes in their lives and their communities.
It’s not just kids who are influenced by what you say or do. Your offline interactions with churchmates, officemates, friends and acquaintances are opportunities for you to share your love for reading and/or writing, your love for country and most of all, your love for God. Lending or giving books, organizing coffee book dates, writing them actual, personal letters: these are just a few ideas on how you can “infect” those around you through books and words.
What other suggestions do you have for using reading and writing as tools for nation building?