Child labor deprives the children of their rights to quality education and hinders them from achieving their full potential. Promoting children’s rights and participation through a safe and healthy environment is one of the core education initiatives of ABK3 LEAP Project. Alongside this, the project also aims to help struggling learners through catch-up classes both in school and in the barangays. In the Municipality of Moises Padilla, Doña Mercedes Montilla Elementary School is a small school located between haciendas and most of its enrolled pupils are ABK3 assisted children. Regular catch up classes start every 12:45 noon until 1:15 in the afternoon. “It is in the children’s habit that every time the bell rings at 12:45 noon, they will rush to the catch-up room for the catch-up classes” Mrs. Salvacion Quilantang, the school’s catch-up coordinator, said. The catch-up classes are co-facilitated by the little-teachers who facilitate story-telling, reading, and other subject-based sessions.
Together with the catch-up classes, the Community Savings Association for Children or CoMSA is also being implemented in the school and facilitated by Mrs. Mary P. Orbita, Grade V Adviser and Home Economics Teacher.
For the past years, the school struggled to put up a school library to be used by the pupils and the teachers, as the library is considered to be the heart of the school. Recently, through partnership building, the National Bookstore Foundation has chosen Doña Mercedes Montilla Elementary School to be the new home of their Buklat-Aklat project. Buklat Aklat Project provided refurbishing of the school’s catch-up room into a library and learning hub for the children. Additionally, NBS Foundation provided school supplies to school children, along with three other schools, two of which are also ABK3 assisted schools namely Crossing Magallon Elementary School, and Guinpana-an Elementary School.
“We are very thankful for National Bookstore Foundation for providing us with a new and beautiful library which we can use for our pupils, rest assured that we will take good care of the books and the materials provided by NBS” said Melita Juanites, School Principal.
Story and photos by Kevin Gaitan/ World Vision