A Newton-based organization that promotes global learning and health programs has received a helping hand from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for an innovative book fair program in the Philippines.
During her visit to the Philippines on Thursday, Clinton cut the ribbon at a book fair organized by Education Development Center's Philippines branch. The event was at Malanday National High School in Marikina City, near the capital, Manila. The school was heavily damaged during recent flooding, and Clinton pledged additional US support for the recovery effort.
The EDC project, called Education Quality and Access to Learning and Livelihood Skills Project, has organized book fairs around the country. The events "let teachers use pre-paid vouchers to choose the books they and their students need most, increasing the likelihood of high-impact, creative teaching and learning in the classroom."
Clinton joined 66 teachers and 2,000 students who used their vouchers to select from the 50,000 English, science, and math books that were made available during the marketplace event and take them back to their school classrooms. The books come from Brothers' Brother Foundation, a Pittsburgh--based group that has collected and distributed more than 80 million books since 1958.
The EDC and Brothers' Brother Foundation both have major operations in the Philippines. A current EDC initiative is distributing nearly 50,000 free copies of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to more than 700 elementary schools in Mindanao, a war-torn Muslim island in the south of the archipelago.
Yvette Tan, an EDC staffer in the Philippines, says teachers identified dictionaries as critical tools to get students more interested in reading and preparing them to grapple with subjects taught in English, including science and math. The US Agency for International Development is funding the dictionary project, which is cosponsored by the National Bookstore Foundation.
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
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