Sunday, October 28, 2007

Helping the Schoolchildren


There are 131 schoolchildren in the first grade at the Conrado Barrios Elementary School in Baybay, Roxas City. There are only 3 sections so each teacher is in charge of 43 students. It was raining heavily the day I dropped by the school so a few students didn't show up. The Principal, Miss Carandang, has instituted a reward program for students who have the best attendance.

In December last year, my family and I distributed school supplies to 20 of the first graders who had the most need for assistance. We also donated books to their library. This year we saved enough money to give all the first graders the tools they need and could not afford to buy.

The children were all excited as we distributed crayons, pencils, pens, sharpeners, pad paper. Some children were extending their hand to get the supplies before their turn, probably because they wanted to ensure they got their school supply. Each child smiled and said "Thank you". One child was brought by his teacher to me while I was giving supplies in another classroom because somehow he was left out during the distribution in his classroom. He was near tears.

It was a special day to see the children happy. Now I know that they will be able to write and draw and color with the school supplies we gave them.

Next schoolyear, (starts in June in the Philippines), I hope to include the second graders in the distribution of school supplies. I will also work with the teachers during the reading hour to motivate the children to read and use the meager resources of their library.

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