Thursday, July 14, 2005

Adopt a classroom, share your blessings

The Manila Times
Business Times p.B4
Thursday, July 14, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Adopt a classroom, share your blessings

“If all the rich and all of the church people should send their children to the public schools they would feel bound to concentrate their money on improving these schools until they met the highest ideals.”— Susan B. Anthony

“We class schools into four grades: leading school, first-rate school, good school and school.”—Evelyn Waugh (English writer, 1903-66)

“If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers”—Edgar W. Howe

LAST week we discussed the Accelerated Learning Work­shop the Rotary Club of Quezon City North will run for all the teachers at Tatalon Elementary School. A companion program to that is Adopt-A-Classroom/Classroom Guardians Program.

RCQCNorth, in partnership with Rotary District 3780 under the leadership of Governor Benjie Bacorro and concerned volunteer families will endea­vor to help alleviate, if not totally solve, the problems of individual classrooms in public elementary schools starting with Tatalon ES.

Schools, particularly elementary schools, for kindergarten to grade 6 or 7, are places to learn, explore and grow. They are supposed to provide opportunities for schoolchildren to be confident, self-directed and active learners.

A developmentally oriented school environment is safe, nurturing, caring, transforming and creates the best educational programs for children, teachers, nonteaching staff and parents. Very recent government statistics reveal that only one out of five elementary school students are ready for high school.

Some of the reasons given were: lack of teachers and high teacher/student ratio, teachers with inadequate teaching skills, lack of classroom (class size of 45-68 students for every 4 meter by 5 meter classroom), lack of or inadequate classroom facilities, lack of or inadequate learning materials, and many others.

This program is committed to the cultivation of academic excellence and of individual potential through a cooperative, caring, enriched environment. We seek to help the teacher provide the children a play and learn environment that supports their physical, emotional, social and cognitive developmental needs.

How could you, dear readers, participate? This is your opportunity to do a good deed for teachers and students in public schools on a one-year basis only.

You can get involved with the education of our youth by helping create a creative and caring learning environment.

How will you help?

You and your family or group of friends could volunteer as Classroom Guardians and adopt one classroom for one year (now until March 2006).

• Assist in ways beneficial to a productive and enjoyable learning environment on a visit-us-whenever basis. Classroom Guardians are welcome to spend a few minutes, hours or days getting to know the teachers and students. We encourage volunteer parents to bring their children in for familiarization visits, to join Parent Teacher Association activities, to be a guest story reader, to be an inspirational speaker or to just spend a few extra minutes to chat with teachers and students.

• Assist in improving the physical condition of the classroom such as repainting of classroom and repair or replacement of broken desks and window jalousies.

• Assist in improving/obtaining teaching aids and equipment needs such as computers, TV set and VCD player (to enable them to hook up to Knowledge Channel and to use multimedia learning materials), blackboard and chalk and others.

• Good second-hand computers, television set, VCD player, music box, electric fan, and others are acceptable. Unacceptable expensive and unnecessary wants such as air-conditioning unit because it will entail utility costs to the school and other classrooms may not be so lucky to get one.

• Assist in feeding program for malnourished and undernourished students. Tatalon ES, for instance, has identified 133 severely malnourished pupils and practically all students are in different stages of under­nourishments; and most teachers, too.

How do you join? Please contact me at (0917) 899-6653 or for details.

And/or you may also want to sponsor one or more teachers (P2,500 a teacher) to the Accelerated Learning Workshop on July 23 and 30, August 6 and 13.

Please pass this information on to your friends and colleagues.

While our politicians and street parliamentarians are grandstanding, let us buckle down to helping our country by helping our teachers and grade school pupils.

Gawa, hindi dada!

(Moje is the president of RC Quezon City North and is very passionate about this project, Building a Creative and Caring Learning Environment for Public Schools. Drop by RCQCN meetings on Thursdays, 7 p.m., BigShot Billiards and Bar, Delta Theater, Quezon Avenue, QC.)

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