Friday, February 18, 2011

Targeted: Five Million-Strong Filipino American Community in the US

The Filipino Book Festival Steering Committee is plumb right in it's plans to meet its long-term goal of putting Filipino-authored books in most public and academic libraries in California, the home state of more than half of the five-million-strong Filipino American community in the U.S. 

Dr, Penelope V. Flores, Ms. Helen Marte-Bautista

It is focusing its outreach efforts on librarians, academics,  and book distributors.  

The organizers envision FilBookFest to be the largest gathering of authors of Filipino heritage outside the Philippines. 

Teachers will be one of the important subject of FilBookFest's Academic efforts.  Let me analyze the multiplier effect of involving teachers to introduce Filipino/Filipino-American writers in their classrooms.

Every high school in the country offers English as a subject for 4 years  (Freshman English, Sophomore English, Junior English and Senior English.)  In the picture above, (right) Helen Marte-Bautista, past SF Public Library Trustee and as a former English teacher at San Francisco's Burton High School, she taught five classes of English  a day.  Each of her classes had 32 students.  (I know, the Teacher Union only contracted 30 students in a class.)  This means (5 x 32) she reaches 160 students in a day's work. 

If she assigned a Book Report of a Filipino author, that will mean their school librarian will have to purchase Filipino-authored books. 
That's one hundred sixty titles.
 (Penelope, in the picture left above-- used to assign San Francisco State University credential teacher candidates to student-teach in Ms Bautista's class.)  

However, knowing what a GREAT English teacher Helen is, she is not content with just a Book Report.  She assigns a Book Review.  
The student will now have to be acquainted with other Filipino authors in order to compare and contrast two or three authors (preferably writing from  different disciplines like History, Sociology, Anthropology etc.) who address the same topic or issue.  Then and only then will the student receive credit for the Review especially when they support their arguments with quotes from other authors. 

This Book Review assignment will  necessitate a serious English student to go to their local public library.  This in turn will obligate the public librarians to peruse the Filipino/Filipino American author's lists and contact every Filipino book distributor of their titles in order to enrich their shelves to academically serve their reading constituents. 

As if this is not enough, if ALL the teachers require this  kind of English literature assignment in the syllabus every quarter,  this 
scenario is compounded a hundred thousand times in different high schools and colleges.   Filipino-authored books will surely sell!

Then, one can picture how this small idea can germinate exponentially like a virus. One can imagine the potency of the Filipino Book Festival.

Please follow this blog for more happenings about the Filipino Book Festival.  

Mark your calendars:   October 1st and 2nd, 2011,  San Francisco Public Library,     

No comments:

Post a Comment