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Our long-time volunteer and book-packing director, Liz Freeman, has been forging ties with the Philippines since the 1960s.  Here's a look into her sponsor school, Abella Elementary School in Bicol.
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Bicol’s Abella Elementary School:  Two Generations of Friendship
by Liz Freeman & Susan Barrato Talusig

Liz Freeman met Susan Barrato when Susan was just 3 years old. Susan’s mother, Linda, and Liz were friends and housemates during the 1960s in Negros Oriental when Liz was a Peace Corps (PC) volunteer and Linda. Linda was a highly qualified High School and College math teacher who was very popular and made trigonometry and other upper math subjects fun to learn.  Liz was doing teacher training in the “new math” at the elementary schools in the district. After her PC stint, Liz returned to the United States but always thought about her Filipino friends. In 1975, Liz fulfilled her dream to return to the Philippines, bringing along husband Joe. They visited Linda, also married by then, and met her beautiful toddler, Susan. That week, the second generation of friendship was formed! Susan’s charm and inquisitiveness had Liz quickly learning the Tagalog word for "WHY?" 



Years later, when Liz and Joe joined BKP and Susan was a teacher at Mayon High School (with her mother Linda!), the connection continued with BKP sending books to their school. Susan and Linda are active proponents of the reading program and participated in BKP’s 2012 teacher training. 

When Susan took a position at Abella Elementary School as a second grade teacher, Liz and Joe did not hesitate to sponsor her school library where Susan has introduced the Reading Buddies program. She continues to encourage other faculty members to incorporate the program into their school days.

Abella Elementary School is the oldest elementary school in Ligao City, Albay.  It serves 267 children in an upland barangay. Its administration, staff, students, and barangay officials are thankful to BKP for the books that encourage the children to read. The children are amazed by pictures from the books’ pages, and that sparks their love for reading. Susan finds the BKP Reading Buddies program very effective and says it even opens doors to new friendships. We hope that in reading, the children of Abella find friendships that stand the test of time, just like the one that Liz, Linda, and Susan have shared!  

Congrats to the All the Graduates!

From the board of directors, congratulations to all the graduates in the Philippines as the school year comes to a close.  Pictured here are students and teachers from a BKP sponsored school, Saverona Elementary School, in Nueva Ecija. 

English and bilingual dictionaries from sponsor Dr. Linda Ott arrived here. BKP includes dictionaries with every box of books shipped.

From HeadsUpEnglish.com, "Correct dictionary usage should be taught and encouraged. It becomes a useful tool to better acquire and apply new language...Bilingual dictionaries work best with low-level students. Upper-level students should restrict usage to monolingual dictionaries. Intermediate students may use a combination of both." (http://tinyurl.com/hqr69g8)

Save the Date!

Apr 16 (Sat), 9:30 - 12PM, Bookpacking session 
Center Congregational Church
5 Summer St., Lynnfield, MA


Fundraising with the Philippine Consulate in New York

We partnered with the New York Philippine Consulate General's office to conduct a public service seminar for Filipinos in the New York and Massachusetts.  

"The seminar was led by Professor Enrique M. Soriano, a noted book author and columnist in the Philippines, then a short presentation by Ms. Rowena Sy-Santos, Co-Executive Director of the Bagong Kulturang Pinoy (BKP), who explained to the audience her organization’s services and advocacy where Filipino immigrants sponsor and fund libraries and bring books from the U.S. to rural areas in the Philippines.  

Deputy Consul General Kira Christianne Danganan-Azucena welcomed the participants and briefly spoke about the emergence of the Philippine economy in recent years due to a platform combining good governance and the institution of sound macroeconomic fundamentals. "  
(from the
Phil. 
Dept. of
Foreign Affairs
)


Community News

Team BKP at the ATASK Community 5K Run
 
Thank you to Team BKP for completing the ATASK Community 5K this past April 9! It was a beautiful & sunny day for a run around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir.  Team BKP was composed of Myra Robinson, Elizabeth Zuelke, Mavel Claver, Rowena Sy-Santos, Enzo Santos.  The 5K is an event showcasing and celebrating the non-profit organizations in Greater Boston that support the pan-Asian community. Thank you for cheering and supporting the BKP Team!  If you've missed donating to your favorite runner, you can still do so here. For more on the wonderful work that ATASK does, visit their website



"Beats for Books" with NU Barkada

The Northeastern University's Filipino organization (NU Barkada) chose BKP as their "Beats for Books" fundraiser concert benefactor this past Jan 24.  The successful evening was filled with talented students showcasing their skills and compassion for the Filipino kids.  Thank you to everyone from NU Barkada, especially Co-Presidents Jelina Castillo and Stephanie Rabino!
 

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