‘Service-Learning taught us to take delight in little things’

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When I asked students about what they think of society today, rarely did I find answers related to their awareness of social issues like poverty or profound answers about life. Often, their views of the world are limited to a description of how fast-paced our society is nowadays and how new buildings rising like mushrooms represent “improvement of life”. No one ever mentioned about other realities like the everyday we encounter with that kid in the street running around asking for money, or that old lady sitting down in the hard pavement hoping for better days to come as we walk pass by her. Human as we are, we tend to sympathize with them or pity them, hoping to do something great that can really change their lives.

Last week, I was given the task to facilitate a service-learning project at a public school – part of what we do in my new job at La Consolacion College Bacolod  is to take the students out to the community. Since working for Volunteer Service Organization, I have become used to community-based engagements and for each, there are always new lessons or a reminder of the ones I have learned before but perhaps forgotten.

I went with the 6th graders to guide them in their activity which involved tutoring younger kids at the public school. For the students, it was a way to apply what they have learned in school while at the same time, learn something new. That rainy Friday was filled with giggles and laughter as our 6th graders taught subjects like Mathematics, Social Studies, and English.

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Most of our students were astounded why the kids at the public school were enjoying despite their condition: jam-packed classroom, not enough materials and school supplies. One curiously asked how the pupils could seem to be okay.

It was, to me, an opportunity to teach what I have learned in life, that is, we should take delight in little things. For the pupils at the public school, having our students giving them time, attention and care are enough for them to be happy.

As pitiful as it sounds, our world today has conditioned us to put our satisfaction in material things. We strive hard to gain material things only to lose our ability to care and love each other, and yet, these are all that really matters./ Benedict Moraña

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Benedict Moraña is a staff at the Office for Institutional Advancement and Linkages, he has a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and he is currently pursuing Law.

 

 

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Senior High School preps up for Service Learning; holds symposium on volunteerism

La Consolacion College Bacolod held a symposium to prime Senior High School students for the Service Learning Program, a key feature of the curriculum which will be implemented through Grade 12.

Rodjhun Navarro, head of LCC’s Office for Institutional Advancement and Linkages said that the program is an important vehicle to attain the educational outcomes, where students will be challenged to use the knowledge and skills they learn in school to help address real-world problems.  This strategy will not only provide an opportunity for teachers to effectively assess whether the students have imbibed the outcomes of the course but a venue for development of other skills as collaboration critical thinking and a strong value oriented on service.

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Claire Algarme talks about volunteerism among Senior High School students at LCC Auditorium on June 24, 2016

The symposium, which was on “volunteerism”, was held at the LCC Auditorium on Friday, June 24. It was attended by more than 600 students from all the disciplinal tracks.

Claire Algarme, an alumna, who has a strong community service credentials having been involved in local and international development work, was the symposiums resource person. She introduced different ways students can be of help to the community, citing her experiences with Habitat for Humanity, Hands On Manila Foundation and Dr. Pablo O. Torre Foundation.

Algarme added that volunteering has opened job opportunities for her having met volunteers coming from various lines of work and connected with big companies.  She added that other than schooling, volunteering is an avenue to better prepare for the world of work.

LCC has scheduled Friday mornings on regular school days for Service Learning. The program will have two phases: during the first phase, students will be assigned to deliver electives courses for the Night High School Program or organize sustainable livelihoods or environment advocacy projects with LCC Bacolod’s partner communities; and in the second phase, students are free to select their partner organization and the kind of involvement they prefer to do so long as it is aligned with their study.

Mentors will be monitoring students’ service performance through actual observations, weekly reflection papers and a service-learning portfolio which is to be accomplished by the end of the semester.