Literacies for the 21st Century

Photos by Mr. Aay-Bee Go, GS Math teacher

The following was delivered by Mrs. Clarisse Ednacot, GS English Department Chair, during the Grade School general assembly to launch Literacy Month. Immediately after this speech, Ms. Aimee Apolinario, GS Principal, gave a book talk to the entire GS community.

Kon nichi wa! Hello!

Ohayu gozaimasu! Good morning!

You may be wondering why I am dressed this way. What I am wearing is called a kimono which is a traditional costume in Japan. A hundred years ago, most of the Japanese could be seen wearing something like this. I am going to tell you about a book that is set in the time when the Samurai existed, and when people wore kimonos.

The book is called, “Little Inchkin,” written by Fiona French. This is a story about a young boy named, Little Inchkin. You may have guessed that he is only around an inch tall. Before he was born, his parents prayed to have a baby. Their prayers were answered, and they had a son. The only problem was that their son was only as big as a pea-pod! Little Inchkin was unloved and disliked, so he learned how to take care of himself. When he was a grown man (though still an inch tall), he left home to seek his fortune and to become a swordsman. Most of all, he wanted to find a way to grow tall.  Over time, he becomes the greatest swordsman in the kingdom and even serves the emperor! Inchkin proves that anyone, no matter what size, can do amazing things and overcome great obstacles as long as one works hard to become the best he can be.

We can all be like Little Inchkin, even in our present day—the 21s t century. Our world is faced with many problems, some of which are very large, like poverty and war. Like Little Inchkin, we cannot let these obstacles stop us. We can all work hard to learn and improve ourselves so we can solve the problems of our world.  We can do this by gaining the skills or literacies needed for the 21st century  such as communication skills—which we can develop through speaking and listening, reading and writing; working well with others during group work or class interaction; there’s also accessing and processing information especially information that we get from the Internet (information literacy), analyzing and creating media (media literacy), and wisely managing finances (financial literacy). There’s a lot to learn to be like little Inchkins of the 21st century.

To celebrate Literacy Month this October, the English department and the Grade School LRC have prepared several activities for you.


Listen while you eat: During lunch periods, be on the look out for some of your teachers who will give book talks. Some grades 5 and 6 students have also been invited to give books talks.

LRC Exhibit & Book Fair: The LRC will feature books from different continents displayed at the discussion rooms. On the last week of October, you’ll have the chance to browse and purchase more books during the book fair.

Friday Specials: On Fridays, we will have oral presentations such as read-alouds/storytelling, readers’ theater, and special book talks. You’ll also get the chance to meet some of the authors of books that are familiar to you.


For Grade 2, there will be:

Storytelling, quiz bee, poster making, short story writing, and “pot of reading,” where the section with the most number of books borrowed from the LRC will be awarded.

For the Grade 3 boys, we will have:

a Book Lists Exchange where students can read books recommended by their classmates, and a Fairytale appreciation activity for students to learn more about classic fairy tales.

The Grade 4 boys can look forward to:

The Interclass Book Talks where teachers will swap classes to give book talks to other sections, and the highly anticipated Father and Son storytelling activity.

On the other hand, the Grade 5 boys will celebrate the month through:

A poetry writing contest, and a Poetry Fest where classes will participate in a choral recitation of selected pieces.

And last, but not least, the Grade 6 boys will be having:

inter-class book talks, an essay-writing contest, as well as a grand Quiz bee on Greek Mythology.

Last of all, you may have noticed some of your teachers wearing different costumes this morning. I would like to call the members of the English Department and the Learning Resource Center/LRC to come up the stage so that our students can see some of the costumes we have today.

May I call on Ms. Ponon from the Grade 2 team, Ms. Pichay from the Grade 3 team, Mrs. Bata from the Grade 4 team, Ms. Galang from the Grade 5 team, Ms. Share from the Grade 6 team, and Mr. Cadiz from the LRC to tell us a little something about their costumes and book characters.

So there you have it! Today, we are bringing book characters to life in your classrooms. What you heard this morning are just a few of the many things that you’ll be hearing throughout the day. I challenge you to make the most out of this experience by actually reading the books that you will learn about.

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