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Muyco Elementary School


This study aimed at determining the effectiveness of Project SARA, a reading intervention, based on the implementation and experiences of the teachers, learners, and parents. The researcher chose this study to help the struggling learners learn how to read and comprehend. Thus, this qualitative research study attempted to find out whether the use of Project SARA would be effective in improving the reading performance in the District of Sara. Utilizing in-depth interviews, 30 participants—comprising 10 teachers, 10 parents, and 10 struggling learners from the Schools District of Sara, Iloilo were chosen. Thematic analysis was employed for data analysis. A validated research-made interview guide questionnaire was used to gather their responses. After the conduct of the study, teachers, learners, and parents perceive Project SARA as beneficial in improving comprehension and addressing reading difficulties. The program was proven effective for non-readers, providing helpful materials, encouragement, and positive impacts. Experiences indicate a positive influence on reading proficiency and the cultivation of a reading culture.

Keywords: Project SARA, Experiences, Implementation



Reading is a fundamental skill that underpins all aspects of education and personal development. Proficient reading is not only essential for academic success but also for lifelong learning and participation in a knowledge-based society. In the Philippines, where education is a key driver of national progress, the need for effective reading intervention programs is paramount.

The Philippine educational system has undergone significant reforms in recent years to address various challenges and improve the quality of education. The implementation of the K-12 curriculum underscores the importance of reading proficiency as a foundational skill for all learners. However, despite these efforts, concerns persist regarding the reading abilities of Filipino learners.

National and international assessments, such as the National Achievement Test (NAT) and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA, 2018), have consistently revealed alarming trends in reading proficiency among Filipino learners. These assessments indicate that a significant portion of learners fall below proficiency levels, hindering their academic progress and prospects.

Effective reading intervention programs play a crucial role in addressing reading difficulties and improving overall literacy rates. Research has shown that early intervention is particularly effective in addressing reading challenges and preventing academic disparities (Ehri et al., 2001). Therefore, the implementation of evidence-based reading interventions is essential to bridge the gap between struggling readers and their proficient peers.

While there is a growing recognition of the importance of reading intervention in the Philippines, there is a paucity of comprehensive research that examines the effectiveness, challenges, and best practices of these programs within the local context. A deeper understanding of the experiences and outcomes of reading intervention initiatives is crucial for program enhancement and informed decision-making in education policy.

Project SARA (Strengthening and Advocating Reading for All) is a four-phased reading program that emerged as a response to the alarming decline in reading proficiency among Filipino learners in the District of Sara, as indicated by national reading assessments. The four phases are: Phase I - Phonemic Awareness (+ Letter Writing), Phase II - Blending and Word Families, Phase III - Basic Sight Words, Phrases and Sentences, and Phase IV - Reading Enrichment: Comprehension and Fluency. The Project draws motivation from the learning gap caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The pandemic and the closing of schools and the shifting from in-person classes to modular and online classes caused a detrimental effect on the reading skills of every learner. Through Project SARA, the aim is to address the pressing issue of declining reading skills and advocate for a culture of reading across all levels of education.

The implementation of Project SARA has yielded promising results, with improvements in reading proficiency documented in every school in the District of Sara. However, to sustain and enhance the program's impact, it is essential to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences and challenges faced by school administrators, educators, learners, and communities involved in Project SARA.

The researcher conducted the study to provide a comprehensive analysis of the implementation of Project SARA, exploring the experiences and perspectives of stakeholders within the District of Sara. By examining the program's successes, limitations, and areas for improvement, the research aimed to offer valuable insights that can inform the enhancement of Project SARA and contribute to the broader discourse on reading advocacy and education reform in the Philippines.

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