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Filinvest assist local students overcome reading difficulties

Filinvest’s FDC Misamis Power Corporation (FDC Misamis), owner and operator of the biggest baseload plant in Mindanao, has partnered with Mohon Elementary School (MES) in Tagoloan town, Misamis Oriental to improve the reading proficiency of local students. 
The collaboration was made possible through MES’ Active Stakeholders Participation in Reading Engagement (ASPIRE) Program. 
ASPIRE, which was conceptualized by the MES’ General Parents-Teachers Association (GPTA) and is in partnership with the Barangay Council of Mohon, is a tutorial program intended for poor reader and non-reader students of MES. 
Launched last year, the program aims to improve the literacy rate of MES students through the active participation of teachers, parents and other community stakeholders within the area such as private entities like FDC Misamis. The management of FDC Misamis welcomed the opportunity and allowed employees to tutor students based on their available schedules. 
FDC Misamis is the pioneering private institution who welcomes this partnership according to school principal, Dr. Carnila Simacon. 
This, as FDC Misamis wants to contribute something positive to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) flagship initiative dubbed as “Every Child A Reader Program.” For its initial participation, FDC Misamis employee-volunteers took under their wings five poor-reader six grader pupils earlier last month. 
The beneficiaries are graduating students who are under conditional status and must improve their reading skills in the next two months for them to move up to seventh grade. “It’s sad to note that our five beneficiaries have great difficulty knowing the (basic) sounding of the letters in our alphabet,” shared Analiza Miso, FDC Misamis’ Community Relations Specialist, who’s acting as one of the tutors. 
“But the kids are showing enthusiasm learning how to identify letters, its sounding, and of course, the proper pronunciation, through our help and encouragement,” Miso added. Five weeks into the program, the students are showing a lot of improvements in their reading skills. One volunteer, Kim Orquillas, FDC Misamis’ Assistant Community Relations Specialist, narrates the changes he observed from the students. “I am very happy and most of all, there is a feeling of fulfillment that after four consecutive Mondays of teaching the kids, I realized that the time and effort I spent with them were never wasted, because I can see that they can now identify letters, phonics and words they have difficulty reading before,” said Orquillas.
MES and other community partners are happy for the developments of the students. They are hopeful that the program will yield positive results in eliminating illiteracy in the community. “What a great help! We’re blessed. And we’re thankful, indeed that FDC Misamis is here to help us teach our non-readers,” said Simacon. Simple but very helpful, was how Francis Jerson Sabio, punong barangay of Mohon in Tagoloan tagged the program.
“Hoping then that FDC Misamis is one among those who can help cure an ‘appalling’ joke that Philippines is a nation of poor-readers,” said Sabio. 
FDC Misamis then disclosed plans to continue the tutorial program in the coming years and will be under its Corporate Social Responsibility’s (CSR) “Education for Empowerment” pillar. The program will be replicated to other public elementary schools situated in Tagoloan and Villanueva and will accommodate non-readers and poor-readers from grades one to six.

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