CALASIAO, Pangasinan – A group of student farmers is teaching agriculture-literacy to household beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Calasiao, Pangasinan.
The project, spearheaded by the members of the Pinablin 4-H Calasiao Inc. of the Calasiao Comprehensive National High School (CCNHS), called “active and responsive agri-literacy” or Project Aral aims to promote literacy among the children of the 4Ps beneficiaries and agriculture know-how to the parents.
The Pinablin 4-H Calasiao Inc., a non-government youth group in this town with 700 members, either farmers themselves or whose parents are farmers, has the goal to awaken the youth's interest in agriculture since it was established with the help of the local government unit of Calasiao in 2016.
Project Aral is a new project of the group that started in 2022 with student members going to communities to teach the children of the 4Ps household beneficiaries about writing, reading, and even tutor them on their assignments, 4-H CCNHS adviser Dr. Lorie Mae Viduya-Viloria said in an interview on Friday.
“While the mothers were taught the basics of backyard gardening on how they should plant and take care of their produce and even sell their produce,” she said.
Viloria said they conducted Project Aral in schools last year with junior high school students at CCNHS.
“This year, we go to the barangays of Calasiao to conduct sessions,” she said.
She added they cater to about 40 to 50 children in every barangay.
Sanny Rain Paris, president of 4-H in their school, said aside from helping the children with their assignments and comprehension, they are also encouraging them and imparting knowledge about agriculture.
“Tinuturuan din naming sila ng basic ways paano magtanim and paano alagaan mga pananim (We also teach them the basic ways of planting and how to take care of their crops),” she said.
"This project also teaches us to be always grateful," Paris, whose father is also a farmer, added.
Imelda Bruan, one of the 4Ps beneficiaries, commended the project as it helps her children get involved in worthwhile activities while on school break.
Bruan has two children who are in Grade 1 and Grade 4.
She added that the community backyard garden also provides additional nutritious food for their families and sometimes even extra income as they sell excess produce. (PNA)