The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed every 21st of February as the International Mother Language Day “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”. A take-off from this celebration, Dwight School Seoul annually celebrates VIP Reading Day. This year, Dwight’s VIP Reading Day was held last February 23. During this day, volunteers (Dwight parents and teachers) and invited guests (mostly from embassies) read to the students in their mother tongue.
Since my first son entered Dwight School Seoul 3 years ago, I didn’t miss to volunteer for the VIP Reading Day. This year was the third time I read in Tagalog. Though the children cannot understand the language, we were advised to make a short summary in English. I did mine every page and the pictures did a lot of help. For the three years that I volunteered, the kids have always been interested with the stories. I felt good that they can hear my “mother tongue” (technically not since I grew up speaking Hiligaynon, the dialect from Iloilo, so I speak Tagalog with an Ilonggo accent).
For the first 2 years, the students gave me personalized thank you cards and I still keep the cards today. This year, I received another personalized card with messages from each student. My son pointed out, “I’m the only one who wrote differently, Mommy”. Instead of my name, he wrote “Dear Mommy”. Sweet! And I know my son likes to see me doing things for his class.
Aside from the card, the organizers of the event handed out tokens of appreciation, too.
It was a surprise but it goes to show that the event is getting bigger each year. More preparation, more participants. There were 50 readers this year and if the preparation doesn’t slow down, it’s gonna be a wow next year. Me so looking forward to it especially that with the entry of my second son in first grade, I will already have 2 sons at Dwight this coming August.