INSPIRING more Filipinos to read and easily comprehend, the free-to-download tech-publishing app “NABU: Multilingual Kids Books” has released its first batch of regional language books for Filipino learners from diverse backgrounds.
Globe has partnered with the New York-based nonprofit organization NABU, which is focused on eradicating poverty through increased literacy and free access to mother tongue books through their proprietary app.
“We believe that everyone should have access to age-appropriate, culturally relevant, and accurate reading materials in their own language,” said Globe Group’s chief sustainability and corporate communications officer Yoly Crisanto. “This is an important step toward making literacy more accessible for everyone with the help of digital platforms such as NABU.”
The two organizations believe that confidence in children builds up when they can read in their local language first, which induces comprehension. As a result, literacy levels increase, which provides children the ability to expand their learning skills and rise to their full potential.
Literacy is a prerequisite for eradicating poverty. However there is a dearth of local language books at the early-grade levels, resulting in children leaving school without the ability to read. The condition renders them extremely vulnerable to social and economic exploitation.
CEO Tanyella Allison shares NABU’s honor of “welcoming all Filipinos on our global journey to create a culture of reading, and hope that our app and content will inspire children to get back into the habit of reading.”
NABU Phils.’ country manager Mauro Daez added: “With the release of our regional bilingual books, we want to bring back the fun, curiosity and creativity gained from reading to the major regions of the country, while simultaneously having parents and teachers discover new stories that can equally get them excited to read alongside the children. With hundreds of languages being spoken in the Philippines, this is our start to providing reading resources to those [who] may not be able to afford them.”
Since NABU’s October 2022 launch in the country, 50 regional language titles have been added within the app, including stories written in Cebuano, Ilocano, Bicolano, Hiligaynon and Maranao, and illustrated by local Filipino artists. These complement the currently available 100-plus original stories developed by NABU, which are provided to children across the Philippines in partnership with Globe and the E. Zobel Foundation.
Among available titles at www.nabu.org/download on Android and iOS are “Magturugang Habang Buhay” (Brothers for Life, in Bicolano), “So Alongan Ago So Olan” (The Sun and the Moon, in Maranao), “Layo ang Gakaabtan sa Gugma (Love Travels Further, in Cebuano), “Mas Maayo kun Updanay ang Tanan” (Better Together, in Hiligaynon), and “Kabaelak Nga Aramiden” (Dare to Try, in Ilocano).
The telco firm has always been a strong advocate of literacy and digital skills. It has the “Globe eLibrary” mobile app and web site (globeelibrary.ph) containing hundreds of classic English titles, age-appropriate storybooks, e-Learning videos and other resource materials that can be viewed online, or downloaded for later use.