Kofi Annan, known as the former Secretary General of the United Nations who won the Nobel Peace Prize with the United Nations in 2001, once said that literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. Titian also wants to be a bridge for those who want to achieve education and self-development, including literacy. To reach more beneficiaries and to spread the word about the importance of literacy for children’s development, the Literacy Goes to School Programme is conducted by the facilitators of the Community Learning Centres (CLC) Titian Bayat, Kaliurang, and Rembitan. This activity is one of the activities that students look forward to in their schools.
In Bayat, one of the Literacy Goes to School activities is carried out in collaboration with IKATIFO (Titian Foundation Alumni Association). At the beginning of the event, the facilitators did an introduction through ice breaking, a small game activity to increase enthusiasm before starting the activity. Then, they read together. Their core activity was reading selected books by our facilitators. When they have finished reading, the students conduct a book review by retelling the book content—this is aimed to train children in becoming brave to go forward and being confident to tell the contents of the book thoroughly. The children love the literacy activities, it can be seen from the number of children who were active and willing to go forward and read the results of the books they read. In the end, they re-tell the results of their readings according to their understanding to the facilitators.
At Titian Kaliurang, the Literacy Goes to School activity collaborates with SDN Kaliurang 2 and our facilitators provides literacy sessions for students, especially for students in fifth grade. Literacy Goes to School programme in Kaliurang is held once a month or more. This literacy programme is motivated by the national curriculum (ANBK/AKM = literacy and numeracy) and the low reading interest of children, especially in Kaliurang area. In addition to reading, facilitators in Kaliurang also carry out activities that hone creativity or skills by using used goods. We also develop a group reading method, because aside from providing a variety in activities, this can also boost children’s enthusiasm for reading.
The goal of literacy activities in Kaliurang is that children are able to retell what they have read and at the same time increase their interest in reading process, while for creativity or skills, the goal is children being able to re-use used goods around them and make creations that can be utilized. After several Literacy Goes to School sessions, there are several improvements seen in these students. In the sessions, not only few children wanted to re-tell what they have read, but almost all children were willing to re-tell what they have read.
In Lombok, the Literacy Goes to School activity is one of the Rembitan CLC programmes that are carried out outside the CLC area. This program is used as a form of Titian’s CLC support for the literacy movement in schools, especially because we believe that this programme is able to synergize with schools to improve students’ ability to read and comprehend texts. Currently, our Literacy Goes to School programme in Rembitan is running in two schools, SDN 2 and SDN 3 Rembitan. This program is attended by 6th grade students from SDN 2 Rembitan and the 5th grade students from SDN 3 Rembitan. This programme prioritizes fun learning adjusted to the children’s capacity.
In Rembitan, the Literacy Goes to School activity is held every two weeks, on the first and third weekends of each month. Usually, we start the class by doing games. This is practiced to create concentration and build intimacy between children and the facilitator so both parties can feel comfortable in co-operating throughout activity. The activity carried out is reading which is then followed by a discussion session. Sometimes, our facilitator conducts this programme based on certain themes, such as emotions, characters, discoveries, and so on. Titian does not focus on the quantity of books the children read, but on their ability to digest and understand the contents of the text so that they are able to absorb the knowledge they have learned to the fullest and this can be seen from the ability of children who have started to develop. At first they still tended to be shy and did not show interest in reading, but with this programme, besides being more enthusiastic to read, they are also able to experience more individual or group learning processes through discussion or asking questions.
All of our CLCs have their own unique way to run the programme. Literacy Goes to School Programme as well as the Titian Literacy Programme as a whole is one of the essential programmes to be carried out at all Titian Community Learning Centres. The facilitators always put attention to the development of children and youth, CLC visitors and school beneficiaries, in their journey of literacy. Their journey across the bridge to new hopes. (BC/DAP/NL)
Source: UN Press Release SG/SM/6316-OBV/9/Secretary-General Stresses Need for Political Will and Resources to Meet Challenge of Fight Against Illiteracy/19970904/In Message on Occasion of International Literacy Day