The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) with its banner program Bright Minds Read (BMR) celebrated a milestone with its first batch of grade school graduates. BMR, with its mission to eradicate illiteracy and champion beginning reading among public school children started in 2002 with 14 pilot schools with 4,200 Grade 1 pupils in NCR.
Together with the Department of Education (DepEd), RMHC developed toolkits which consisted of storybooks, lessons plans and training manuals for teachers. With the end of school year 2008-2009, the Grade 1 pupils that started the program have now graduated elementary.
Through the years, BMR has recorded a significant contribution in the decreased number of non-readers. Based on the 2002 Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (PHIL-IRI), 40% are non-readers after Grade 1 while at the end of this school year, PHIL-IRI Pre-Test and Post-Test results indicated that only 1.67% of the total NCR elementary population are non-readers.
In celebration of this remarkable development, Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was presented with the first BMR valedictorian and salutatorian graduates of the 14 pilot schools of the BMR Program in NCR.
The students were commended for their continuous venture in their achievements despite obstacles. Principals were also awarded plaques as recognition for their endless support in incessantly patronizing and implementing BMR in their schools.
Also present during the momentous event are Department of Education Undersecretary Vilma Labrador, RMHC’s President Kenneth Yang, RMHC Chairman George Yang, the international relationship partner of McDonalds Philippines Mr. Bob Larson, RMHC Board Members, and the district supervisors of the 14 cities in NCR.
Dr. Elvira Directo, Educational Supervisor II of DepEd-NCR stated that “BMR is under R.A. 8525 – Adopt-A-School Program. In this program, Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Bright Minds Read together with other corporations and interventions by NCR district supervisors, principals, and teachers contributed to the decrease of non- readers in NCR, BMR is the most documented research-based intervention.
Even if not all of the schools in NCR are using BMR’s big books as their teaching strategy, the four-pronged approach in learning was decentralized in NCR schools which helped tremendously in the decrease of non-readers.”
BMR, with its 7-year partnership with DepEd-NCR, seeks to continue the development of beginning reading materials and strategies for public school teachers and children. Currently in 2,000 public schools in 16 regions nationwide including ARMM, BMR has produced regional results- further strengthening its effectiveness in addressing our country’s reading deficiency problem.
Kenneth S. Yang, President of RMHC declared, “We are confident that through a consistent and focused program like BMR, we can achieve zero non-readers in our country. We at the Ronald McDonald House Charities, together with the government will continue our commitment and further expand the reach of BMR. It is only through reading that a child can have a chance to build a successful and meaningful future.”
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