UNICEF’S Auction for Action 2013 Supports Play-Based Learning

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To celebrate National Children’s Month, UNICEF Philippines’ Auction for Action 2013 brings together more than 90 artists in art, design, furniture and jewelry to benefit a unique education program to provide children access to early learning. The online auction will be curated and presented by UNICEF Special Advocate for Children Daphne Oseña Paez.

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Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP) is a simple, low-cost and easy to organize home-based early learning program where trained day care workers or parent volunteers gather young children in a house, a shaded play area or under a tree for two to three hours every day for at least ten months to help children learn through organized play. UNICEF supports the SNP program in remote, conflict or disaster-affected communities and in informal settlements located in urban and rural areas.

Parents are generally unaware that various forms of play actually keep children healthy and sharpen children’s skills in listening, self-expression, observation and other skills for beginning literacy. Structured and unstructured play helps children develop their knowledge, experience, curiosity, confidence, language skills, thinking, planning, organizing and decision-making. Children learn language quickly and easily through hearing and singing songs, having stories told or read to them, repeating rhymes and playing games.

Studies in the Philippines show that only three out of ten children under six years of age have access to day care or any form of early learning. The situation is more challenging in remote and conflict–affected areas where access to early learning are much lower due to inadequate resources, difficult terrain and low awareness on the importance of early childhood education.

Daphne says, “I have personally seen how play makes learning more fun and engaging through my own children and the children I’ve met during my trips with UNICEF. Play makes children happy and children who feel secure and loved usually do better in school, are more self-confident, have good self-esteem and are able to cope more easily with life’s challenges.”

“Children learn best through play so making learning fun encourages a child’s eagerness to learn. Children who have access to early learning are more prepared for regular school and are less likely to drop out,” states Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Country Representative.

He adds “All our funds for children’s programs come from voluntary contributions and this auction provides a venue for people to acquire works from leading Filipino artists and designers and help disadvantaged children at the same time.”

Bid for one-of-a-kind pieces from notable Filipino artists and designers and help make a difference for children. The auction goes live on October 21-27, 2013 at www.ebay.ph/unicef

For a preview, visit www.unicef.ph or go to the Yuchengco Museum from October 3 to 26 at the RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

This year’s auction is made possible through the generous participation of the Philippine Star, Yuchengco Museum, Summit Media, Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation, EBay Philippines, Citem and Manila Fame.

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