Each year, 9th Avenue School makes it a point to do something meaningful for Family Day. In 2013, the community engaged in a tree-planting activity geared towards environment preservation efforts. Last year, in 2014, the students channeled their energies into beautifying a public school space by painting a 30-meter-long mural on campus.
This year, its founding members aimed for the school’s activity of choice to be just a little more special. In the midst of a brainstorming session, Marilou Zalamea-Acero, Ina Syquia, and Tiffany Yu decided to partner with Star of Samar, a non-government organization that aims to supply Samarnon fishermen with fishing boats or fiber glass bangkas. These fishermen had previously lost their primary source of income when typhoon Yolanda struck in 2013.
On February 14, 2015, Saturday, parents, teachers and the students from 9th Avenue School gathered at Star of Samar’s warehouse in Taguig City to begin painting the boats to be donated. The endeavor was titled “You’ve Got Me Hooked”.
Over 40 students from 9th Avenue School were present and much fun was had not only by them, but by the parents and teachers as well. “We’ve always wanted to come up with projects that will allow the families and the school to give back to the community. So we also make the kids aware that what we’re doing is for another group or for the needy. This is our most fulfilling project so far as it’s really providing livelihood to the fishermen,” Zalamea-Acero said.
“Kids really enjoy painting. My uncle is the one who does the boats himself. He was the one who told us about the boats a long time ago and we just thought of tying up with him,” Syquia said. “We thought this was a good way for the children to really be involved in the activity and to appreciate the fishermen as part of the community.”
“I think it’s good for the kids to be exposed to this as early as now, not just by knowing about it but actually doing something concrete in helping the people who were affected by the typhoon,” Yasmin Guggenheimer, mother of 4-year old twins Maya and Zoe, said.
Karen Murphy, 5-year-old Ava’s mom, shares Guggenheimer’s thoughts. “It’s good for my daughter to learn about other people who need help, to give back to the community, and to know that other people work hard to make a living.”
In total, 9th Avenue School was able to raise a total of P340,000 from the overwhelming support and generosity of parents, organizations and individuals. As a result, the school will be able to send out 17 boats to Samarnon fishermen who will greatly benefit from this gift.
“We wanted to give back to our community in a way that continuity would be feasible. We didn’t simply want to donate goods because the help ends once the families consume them. Having us decorate these bangkas allowed for this continuity. We put pieces of ourselves into this project and now we’re giving it to the fishermen. Their job now is to continue doing what they do best — not just for their families, but their entire community as well,” Yu said.
9th Avenue School was founded in 2012. The goal of its founding members and educators is simple: to develop a lifelong love for learning in every child through developmentally-appropriate practices. To learn more about 9th Avenue School and its programs, call 856-1478 or (0917) 801-PLAY (7529). You can also get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 9th Avenue School is located at 9th Ave., cor. 28th St., Bonifacio Global City.