New books for the Bay-O Daycare Learners
The month of June is always a busy time in the Philippines because classes in public schools and public daycare centers begin in the first week. From May up to the second week of June, teachers, parents, and volunteer community members are already busy preparing their respective daycare centers and schools in welcoming a new batch of learners for the new school year. Creating fun, warm, equipped, and safe public classrooms is important to help students adjust to going back to school daily after a 2-month summer break. At the same time, classrooms should have a variety of educational spaces and activities that can pique the children's interests and encourage them to continuing going to school and participating in school activities.
With these said, for this report we are focusing our attention to the daycare teachers and community heads from the four (4) original participants of HBI's Daycare Improvement Project and how they are preparing for the new school year now that they have the support of the project.
Tubaday Daycare Center in Santol, La Union
On October 2018, the Tubaday Daycare Center received new books, new bookshelves, audio-video equipment and materials, instructional materials, new toys, and hygiene supplies from the donors of the Daycare Improvement Project. While these materials were quickly picked-up by the students, Tubaday's Daycare Teacher: Teacher Dominga, said that with the new school year starting, the materials and equipment will be fully integrated in their daily classes.
"We have to spread out the activities and make learning fun for the children for 6 hours a day from Monday to Friday. So for the first hour, we will have icebreakers like short sing and dance class using the videos and television from the project; the second hour will be an art and writing practice class where we will use the instructional materials from the donors; the third hour is a free playtime where children can pick up any toy they want and play together; the fourth hour is for the children's meals and lessons on hygiene and good grooming; the last hour is a story-telling session."
The Tubaday Community Leader, Mr. Alfredo, said that without the support of the Daycare Improvement Project funded through the GlobalGiving platform, daycare activities will be very limited. "One of my children attended this daycare center and there weren't a lot to do apart from trying to practice writing the alphabet and playing with a few toys that were already discarded by the nearest elementary school. It's good that our small daycare center can provide our community's children with fun and different lessons daily."
A total of approximately 48 students are enrolled in the Tubaday Daycare Center as of May 30, 2019. With enrolment still on-going, the daycare teacher expects additional children to be signed up to daycare by their parents in the coming weeks.
Bay-O Daycare Center in Santol, La Union
Located in a nearby mountain range to Tubaday Daycare Center is the Bay-O Daycare Center. The community's leader, Mr. Paciano, recalls requesting the Santol Municipality's Social Welfare Office to send in support to their daycare center which has very limited educational materials last June 2018. The Municipal Office then informed HBI about the plight of the Bay-O Daycare Center which resulted to their identification and inclusion in the Daycare Improvement Project.
Mr. Paciano and the daycare center's teacher, Teacher Lita, were very happy for their students when they received similar educational and classroom improvement packages last October 2018. Teacher Lita added that "when the children first saw the building block toys, they didn't know how it worked. Eventually they figured it out and have been creating things from houses to cars to flowers. The way they gravitated towards these new learning materials made it easy for me to teach them and get them engaged daily."
This coming new school year, Mr. Paciano and some volunteer parents are building new shelves to store and safekeep the school's new supplies and audio-video equipment. Parents are also very happy that even if they are located in a hard-to-reach mountain area, their children can still take advantage of learning using more advanced methods like film showings and video read-alongs. "Services like these," according to Teacher Lita, "are usually just available in the lowland and in private schools that are expensive. Because of the support of the project's donors, even our poor Bay-O children are going to be learning in a more high-tech way."
A total of 37 students have signed up for the Bay-O Daycare Center for the June 2019 to March 2020 period. As enrolment will be on-going until September 2019, Bay-O Daycare's teacher is expecting a few more children to enrol and join their fun and engaging classes.
Antonino Daycare Center in Balaoan, La Union
While the Antonino Daycare Center is not as remote as the Bay-O and Tubaday Daycare Centers, they also encountered problems such as lack of teaching and educational materials due to the high number of students and enrollees. For the coming school year, a total of 55 children have already enrolled in the daycare center and while this was a problem before since at best they could only accommodate a maximum of 35 learners, this is no longer an issue now according to their daycare teacher, Teacher Mela, thanks to the new school materials and equipment provided by the Daycare Improvement Project and its donors.
"Before, we don't have enough books and toys that we can let the students use, so we had to limit the number of enrollees. Of course, we can't not accept students so we always go beyond the 35-children limit. Now though, we have a new television, new videos to show the children, new books, and new toys from the project, we are no longer that worried about being unable to provide quality daycare learning for all our students."
The community's leader, Mr. Concepcion, echoed Teacher Mela's sentiments. "Now we encourage the parents to enroll their children in our daycare. Before the project, we had to apologize and explain to parents why we cannot accommodate the children in the daycare center. This project is really a big help to us here in the Antonino Community."
Basig Daycare Center in Sudipen, La Union
The Basig Daycare Center stood out from the collective because apart from receiving educational and learning materials and equipment, they also received infrastructure support to repair and improve the daycare center. Whereas before it looked like a make-shift children's activity center, now it looks more like a classroom adorned with new books, new toys, new tables and chairs, and new audio-video equipment.
Basig Daycare's Teacher, Teacher Fema, shares that this year is her least problematic year in terms of preparing the daycare center for her students. "Before, I had to use my own limited financial resources just so the daycare center will have new lights or school supplies like pad papers and pencils. I also ask parents to donate but since they are also struggling financially, we don't really have enough to make improvements possible. It's so different now because the classroom is newly-refurbished and we have a lot of school materials and equipment for the children."
Because of the improvements made possible by the project's donors, the Basig Daycare Center is now a safe and conducive place for young minds to learn, socialize, and experience what school feels like. For this school year, the Basig Daycare Center will welcome 33 new learners between the ages of 3 to 5 years old. As with the other daycare centers aided by the project, more children are expected to join the class as the enrolment period continues.
Our continued thanks for your support
As always, we would like to sincerely thank all the donors and advocates who continue supporting the Daycare Improvement Project. We urge you to send in any questions or concerns you have about the project and we look forward to speaking with you about them. On HBI's end, we are also quite excited to be meeting GlobalGiving's representative this coming August 2019 as she plans on visiting the daycare centers aided by the project. We hope that these planned visits happen so that the daycare teachers and students can meet one of the people who made the improvements possible.
Using building block toys for the first time
Bay-O Daycare Center's Teacher Lita
New school materials being used at Tubaday
Picture books are also a big hit to daycare kids