The Eighth Big Day

Little pencils, little thank-you notes

 Much gratefulness, much happiness

The Beneficiary

Salaysay Elementary School

Salaysay Elementary School, part of Marilog district, caters 389 students including kindergarteners. 88% of the entire population belong to T'boli, Matigsalob, Guiangan, Aeta, Manobo and Muslim tribes. Most of their parents earn an average income of P2,000 from working as farmers and laborers of banana plantations nearby. Students who live in Barangay Magsaysay, about 6 kilometers away from the school, are often late for their classes since they just come to school on foot. 

Entrance to Grades 5 and 6 classrooms

As per interview with Ms. Rosalinda Escorido, the school principal, three of the common problems they encounter are the increasing drop-off rate due to financial constraints, the overflowing river when there's a heavy downpour and lack of awareness among community residents. Many parents aren't fully aware of the new K to 12 program of the Department of Education (DepEd) yet. Hence, they still have to work on the information dissemination.

The school's solar panel

From downtown area of Davao City, the school can be reached by bus and habal/habal ride for two hours and a half. Since there is no electricity in the community, the school relies on the donated solar panel for their audio-visual activities and school-wide big events.

The Distribution

 An intermediate class during orientation

On August 24, 2011, the volunteers were accompanied by the people who identified the school beneficiary in going to the area. They have known the school since they are personally acquainted with the faculty and the community. The students' need for educational reinforcement was confirmed by Mr. Rogelio Hubahib, a former district supervisor of DepEd. 

A teacher distributing pencils to her students

They arrived early in the morning before the flag ceremony began. They saw how students, some in old uniforms but mostly in slippers, arrived at school. After their daily morning routine, the kids proceeded to their classrooms for their regular classes. The volunteers interrupted their discussion for a short time to distribute the writing materials. The wonderful and friendly teachers helped them to facilitate the activity faster.

 Students counting their green pencils

Each student received seven pens or/and pencils. Since they didn't expect such number, they were so happy to have ample supply of writing materials for the next few months. A few teachers had a brief character education lecture to inculcate the worth of the gifts they received from donors.

Special Thanks To

Cheryl Pelomeras for the extra pens, 

 Winona, Dexter, Daryl and Krizel for the transportation 
and for coordinating with the school,

 and the faculty of Salaysay Elementary School for the warmth.

More photos here. Please check our Facebook Page too. MARAMING SALAMAT PO!