For most of us, reading is a basic skill that requires little to no effort. For others, it is a challenge and a privilege. This reality in some parts of Laguna struck AP Renewables (APRI) team member Jessie Cubijano as a pressing concern in the process of coming up with a helpful and sustainable project for APRI’s host communities.
Jessie had found that half of the students in the 31 public schools his team examined were classified as non-readers or frustrated readers. This drove the team to start APRI’s Read to Succeed program, an initiative that eventually became close to Jessie’s heart. He is not foreign to the urgent, often not addressed, needs of public schools, and Jessie believes that reading is one of the most fundamental skills that ought to be developed if the youth in APRI’s communities were to have a chance at building a better future for themselves. “I cannot imagine life without books,” he says. “For me, there is no poverty more abject than being unable to read.”
Read to Succeed aims to boost reading among elementary students. It also includes a training component for teachers, enhancing the schools’ reading curricula, deploying books, and training team members as storytellers to lead reading sessions for students.
The task of molding children and citizens takes years, even generations. But the cooperation of the communities and the support of my leaders and co-workers should power me when the going gets tough. I am very proud that I am a member of a business organization that advances the welfare of the children and youth.
–Jessie Cubijano, CSR Programs Supervisor, APRI-MakBan
As the saying goes, books are gifts that you can open again and again. Reading gives us the power of knowledge and wisdom that will enable us tread life with a sound and healthy mind. Guided by our promise of advancing business and communities, Jessie wielded his passion for reading and turned it into something that will brighten the future of Laguna’s youth. This is Jessie’s ABC.