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A Call to Donate Books and School Supplies

Posted on 5/20/2014 by Vi Arboleda

I'm heading out to a remote village in Lubuagan, Kalinga in the next couple of weeks to distribute school supplies and donated books for a community school there.

If you have used but readable books, magazines, or learning materials that you can spare, please do send me a private message here, a text message or call me up via 0918 635 3980 so we can include them in the distribution.  As much as I'd like to pick them up from your respective houses, I'm afraid my funds are only enough to meet up with you in certain pick-up points in the Manila and Cavite area.

This is not NGO-initiated, it's a personal project that I'm hoping to do every year for the children of Lubuagan, Kalinga.  Names of benefactors will be included in the documentation that will be turned over to the school.

Why Donate?

The school doesn't have a library because they don't have books to begin with.  They don't even have books that they can take home with them or share with other students.  They only rely on what the teachers write on the board.  

You might think that there's nothing wrong with this, but then again, the students can only afford to buy one notebook and one pen for every schoolyear.  That means they have to save what they write down, else they'll run out of writing space.

As if this is not challenging enough, they have to attend the class with children from different levels.  Because of low government funds, the school can only afford two teachers and two classrooms.  Here's how the classes are split up:
  • Class 1:  Kindergarten to Grade 3
  • Class 2:  Grade 4
  • Class 3:  Grade 5 and 6
One of the teachers handles Class 1, while the other handles Classes 2 and 3.

And what about quizzes and tests?  The parents cannot afford to buy anything aside from a notebook and pen, so sometimes, the teachers shell out money from their own salary to provide paper for the students to write on.

Some might think the parents aren't trying hard enough for the children, but then again they farm for a living.  They contribute to the school by helping out in cleaning and maintaining the school premises.  In 2011, volunteer parents put up a classroom made of bamboo, which is now being used by Class 1, which is shown below:

Photo courtesy of Ms. Nessaj Dumatog

As of this writing, there are 54 students who enrolled for SY 2014-2015 and it won't be a bad idea if you'd want to donate a batch of items that will benefit all of them, like donating 54 or even 60 pencils.

What we have so far

Believe it or not, our first benefactors are elementary students who willingly donated books that they're still using.

We have funds ready to buy a set of school supplies consisting of 4 notebooks, 1 pad of paper, 2 pens or pencils and 1 box of crayons for each student.  We also have used textbooks, a few children's books and are scheduled to pick up a volume of encyclopedia, a lot of Reader's Digest magazines.

One of the teachers, Ms. Nessaj Dumatog, with a few of her students

What to Donate
  • Reading materials:  children's books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, children's magazines
  • Writing implements:  crayons, pencils, ballpoint pens, paint brushes
  • Learning materials:  building blocks, puzzles, math aids, grade school science lab tools, visual aids for the classroom
  • Basic school supplies:  pencils, ballpoint pens, sharpeners, erasers, writing paper (Grade 1, Grade 4, Grade 6)
What not to Donate

Please don't donate anything that is meant for the garbage truck: reading materials with significant stains and scribbles, unpleasant smell, lots of torn pages, small pieces of crayons or inkless pens.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.

Mabuhay ang mag-aaral na Pilipino!

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