Knowledge comes to kids through boat library
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - December 16, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Seven-year-old CJ Deinla had a hard time learning to read because of his bad eyesight. But this did not stop public high school teacher Adrian Cobardo from trying to teach him to read.

Twice a week, Cobardo – through his mobile boat library called Bangkarunungan – would visit Deinla and other children living along the coastal areas in Zambales to teach them how to read.

“Children are full of hope,” Cobardo said in Filipino. “We are here because we want that hope to remain ablaze.”

In less than a month, Deinla was able to overcome his problem and has learned how to read.

“Thank you for teaching, loving and taking care of CJ without asking for anything in return,” Deinla’s grandmother, Cristina Aguilar, told Cobardo.

For teaching children like Deinla how to read through the mobile boat library, Education Secretary Armin Luistro awarded Cobardo, of the Barretto National High School in Olongapo City, with a plaque of recognition.

“DepEd lauds his initiative in leading this project and sharing the joy of education to children and their parents in coastal communities,” Luistro said.

He said Cobardo went beyond the call of duty and brought education to islands in Olongapo and neighboring areas through the Bangkarunungan.

“DepEd recognizes his commitment of ensuring that no Filipino learner is left behind,” Luistro said.

Bangkarunungan was established in 2011, in time for the celebration of National Reading Month.

“The aim of the Department of Education is to have zero non-readers in the country. I took the opportunity to be a part of this project. I know how important reading is because you would need it to learn other skills,” Cobrado.

Using a boat to carry reading materials to remote areas in Zambales, Cobardo travels for two hours to reach the children.

The project later attracted young professionals who volunteered to be a part of it.

Four years have passed and the mobile boat library project now has around 80 volunteers teaching over 300 children in coastal communities in the province.

Cobardo said he sees his project as a catalyst to reach the unreached and to empower the young generation by teaching them how to read.

“For my fellow educators, we have committed to this. This is not just a profession, this is a vocation,” he said.

ACIRC ADRIAN COBARDO BANGKARUNUNGAN BARRETTO NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL COBARDO CRISTINA AGUILAR DEINLA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION EDUCATION SECRETARY ARMIN LUISTRO LUISTRO NATIONAL READING MONTH
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