Parent-Child Collaboration


Everlyn Jamandra and her Parents

Everlyn Jamandra and her Parents

Eleven years old, graduating from 6th grade, shedding the “elementary school” mentality, and raring to enter seventh grade and into the intermediate league. What goes through the mind of an 11-year old youth about school and the future?

I am willing to bet most of such 11-year old thinking resembles a pail of benign, tangled and disorganized notions. Superfluous thoughts skewed by feelings, fairy tales, wild crushes, hazy ideas, exorbitant wishes, daydreams, strange desires, unachievable ambitions, unsteady emotions, hurts worse than death, diabolical ideas of revenge, mischief, puppy love, infatuation, nocturnal secrets… murky, opaque thoughts that seem like a multitude of narrow paths resembling ribbons etched on the grass where goats walk and graze, where kids run, cavort and play… just a sandbox.

The verdant landscape mind of an active 11-year old holds a world of promise. Parents must recognize, accept, and learn to help their child put order to such a youthful mind. Needed are patience, tolerance, love, fairness, firmness, and an even-handed hold on the reins. In time the youthful mind begins to put things in order, first separating the open fields from the hedges, demarcating the hills from the mountains, grouping the rocks from the sand dunes and partitioning the nice, approachable, gentle and kind adults from the wicked, uncaring ones. Order gradually emerges. Finally and hopefully, chaos becomes unpredictable calm.

The secret to a desired outcome is collaboration between parent and child based on mutual respect, driven by mutual trust that parent and child walk in the same direction, and going for the same goal.

I know. Easier said than done. Don’t just talk about it; work on it.

When Parents Get Involved


Macanas

Juzel Ann Macanas poses with her mother onstage after she received her award certificate

Young people want many things. Sometimes all at once. Young people long for adult supervision; they don’t ask for it outright but by their actions they want and need it. Supervision adds to their feeling of security – that they are acting within the bounds of good and acceptable behavior.

Often, parents reluctantly supervise their school aged children. Why? Because they don’t want to get into heated, volatile and explosive encounters. Part of the growing process sees the dependent child daily expending much effort and energy establishing an identity. The child pushes the envelope in a helter-skelter way, groping, jabbing and kicking at anything and everything.

Mr and Mrs Macanas fully involve themselves with their daughter Juzel Ann’s education. The fruit of that involvement is self-evident. Juzel made it to the honor roll again this year.

Ina Gabaldon


Ina Gabaldon with her parents

Ina Gabaldon with her parents

Four years ago, we processed Ina’s application for financial aid to attend and finish high school at St Augustine School.

We investigated her family’s financial need, made certain of her parent’s commitment to allocating time for her to study, and inspected the general condition of her home and immediate surroundings.

The second part of the qualification process was Ina’s academic preparation, proven by her elementary school grade point average and the strength of her home room teacher’s recommendation.Gabaldon

Ina met both basic requirements to apply for financial aid consideration. In the following pre-tests, one-on-one interviews and essay writing phases, Ina did very well. She made it to the final list of scholars that year.

Four years have passed since Ina first signed her high school contract with SAS Ai. Here’s Ina (right) beaming with pride as she walked across that graduation stage to receive her high school diploma.

We join Ina in feeling proud of her accomplishment. We thank our many benefactors, generous donors who give to the high school fund. It is solely through your generous donations that we can continue to help bright students like Ina, who come from disadvantaged families finish high school.

 

Preparing the Soil for Planting


How straight are your furrows?

How straight are your furrows?

My father, who loved to work the land growing cash crops, used to say, “When you plow the field, never look back to keep your furrows straight.” Over time I have reflected on his words and I’ve come up with my interpretation using it as a metaphor.

Progress connotes looking ahead in a forward direction being aware of the side views. Those who keep looking back – either because of nostalgia, or misplaced sentimentality, or wishing things could be as they used to be – seem to stagnate and languish. In the Army when the drill instructor barks, “Mark Time,” the men march in place, never making forward progress. Looking back is like marking time. It’s the hamster on a treadmill routine. Also, those who move forward while looking back usually end up in the ditch or in a collision.

Preparing the field for planting is what we do when we help these bright kids who come from poor families get a high school education thru financial help. We inculcate in them education as an important change agent or as a way to achieve freedom. Their young, receptive, and eager-to-learn minds, are like the fertile fields. We plow the furrows straight, not crooked – readying them for planting the seeds of knowledge and wisdom. We keep our gaze set to the future, looking ahead and forward, exemplifying how important is self-discipline and avoiding distraction.

Our bright kids need financial help badly to finish high school. Won’t you please help by DONATING to the scholarship fund? Thank you.

A Living Legacy


St Augustine School Girls Department Circa 1958

St Augustine School Girls Department Circa 1958

Founded in 1910, St Augustine School (SAS) started out as a mission school erected and run by the Belgian nuns and priests (CICM) who came to Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, Philippines to help spread the Good News. A short history of the school may be found at the SAS Ai WIKI. The last 103 years has seen the steady ascent of SAS as the premier private school of Ilocos Sur province. SAS Alumni work, live, set up private practice as doctors, engineers, certified public accountants, registered nurses, and do entrepreneurial commerce internationally.

Today’s global economy makes the job market keen and competitive. We have bright, promising and highly motivated kids in the community who come from very disadvantaged families and thus are financially unable to attend SAS high school.

It is so that these kids may get an opportunity to finish high school at SAS that our non-profit organization SAS Ai dedicates and commits its efforts. We solely rely on public financial support. To this end we humbly ask you to please generously donate to the scholarship fund. This is the only way we can fund these kids’ high school education.

We believe Education is Freedom. These children have known nothing but poverty, hunger, and even hopelessness throughout their lives. But they are the future. Investing in their high school education makes possible the ushering in of a living legacy – the next generation of teachers, scientists, doctors, engineers, civic leaders, clerics, fathers and mothers raising healthy families, and highly competitive overseas workers.

This holiday season, we ask you to please consider making your charitable contribution count. Invest in these kids. Help make their dreams come true. Give them an opportunity to finish high school. A $50 dollar tax deductible donation can help send a student for one month of schooling with the funding spread to cover tuition, books, school supplies, and school uniforms. You can even open a monthly allotment using your VISA, MASTER CARD, or DISCOVER card. Any amount you want to donate is truly appreciated and will help tremendously.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Arthien Lovell Pelingen, Sophomore, University of the Philippines


Arthien Lovell Pelingen, SAS Ai Scholar, Graduated Class Salutatorian 2011-12

Arthien Lovell Pelingen, SAS Ai Scholar, Graduated Class Salutatorian 2011-12

One of our most successful SAS Ai scholars, Arthien Lovell Pelingen (photo at left courtesy of UP Galleria Studios) who graduated Class Salutatorian, SAS Ai 2011-12, sent us this letter, sharing with us how he is doing at the University of the Philippines where he is a Sophomore Biology student::

Dear SAS Ai,
Greetings!
This is Arthien Lovell Pelingen, a graduate of Saint Augustine’s School in 2012 and have experienced a 1 year-scholarship under your organization. It’s been more than a year since I haven’t updated you all about my present whereabouts. I’m sorry about that.
I am currently enrolled in the University of the Philippines as a Sophomore Biology Student. Second semester just started a week ago. There are only few works to do right now so I thought of sending a message to you.
College life is really different to that of high school one. Every second within the classroom really counts. If in high school, i can get a high grade without reviewing, in college, sleepless nights are not enough to get a passing grade. However, with the grace of God, I’m able to get good grades.
To finance my studies, I grabbed the opportunity of being a Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) Scholar since I passed their exam. This agency subsidizes all the fees I need to pay in the university. Also, they supply monthly allowances for my accommodation here in the city.
Now, I think it’s time to end my letter. I’ll find time again to send another message one of these days. – /Signed Arthien Lovell Pelingen.
SAS Ai takes great pride of our scholars and their achievements. SAS Ai is a non-profit organization recognized by the IRS as a public charity under the 501(c)(3) tax code. Our mission is to help bright, highly motivated students who come from disadvantaged families get a good high school education at SAS via financial aid. Join us in our mission. DONATE NOW to the scholarship fund.

Going Back to School; I’m Excited – by Fegie Yvette Layco


Fegie Yvette Layco, SAS Ai Scholar Class 2011-12

Fegie Yvette Layco, SAS Ai Scholar Class 2011-12

School’s starting once again. There’s excitement in the air. I never thought I’d feel this way about school. First of all, going back to school and stepping up to the next higher level, or rung means progress, advancement, achievement – one step forward toward the finish line.

At the moment I feel like sprinting, dashing toward that yellow ribbon… both my arms up in the air, palms opened and waving to the crowd, I’m gasping for air with every sinew in my body aching… but the race… it’s won – Yay! That’s all that’s on my mind right at this moment. But wait. First things first. I am getting way ahead of myself.

Field Team Director, Mr Albert Bunoan met with us SAS Ai scholars and our parents today. He welcomed us back to the SAS campus and exuberantly announced before the end of the day we would all be enrolled and registered. The room burst into instant, unrehearsed but organized pandemonium. Shouts, howls, yells, screams, and shrieks of joy and jubilation drowned Mr Bunoan’s voice but only for a few seconds. He restored order quickly and continued, “Today we also get all our school supplies!” The applause was about to erupt once again but Mr Bunoan was quick to add, “Though not until we go over certain points.”

Scholar's school supplies

Scholar’s school supplies

Silence.

“What could Mr Bunoan mean?” I thought. I felt somewhat uneasy. Mr Bunoan had my undivided attention now and I craned my head to catch every word he had to say.

“Dear scholars and parents,” he began. “Welcome back. Today SAS Ai proudly announces school year 2013 open and you are the reason for the mission.” Mr Bunoan paused for a sip of water. “Let us work together to make 2013 our best year, welcoming those joining our community for the first time.” Mr Bunoan outlined our responsibilities as SAS Ai scholars and the responsibilities of our parents supportive of our schooling. He was most thorough. Critical things like good grades, perfect attendance, personal behavior and development, humility and honesty, and most of all that we enjoy our learning experiences. Yes – that is why I am so excited to go back to school. I enjoy learning.

FegieFieldsFurrows

The mind is like a field. The furrows are straight. Ready for the seeds of Knowledge to be sown.

Each day on my way to school I pass by the open fields. Some parts of the fields lay fallow while some parts look plowed and cleaned, tilled and readied for the planting. My mind goes through images, scenarios and a collage of mental artwork only I can appreciate. I think to myself, “What if my mind is like that field over there,” I look to my right and see the neat and straight furrows.The soil looks fertile, ready for the seeds.

Isn’t that the same as going to school and learning? Our minds are like fertile fields. We prepare the soil in neat furrows, straight and single-minded, focused and ready for the seeds of knowledge to be sown by the teacher. That is why we go to school.

“Hey Fegie,” I heard a voice. It was Mr Bunoan. “Are you ready for 2013? Are you going for the honor roll again this year?”

Feeling a bit embarrassed for my dizzy-fantasyheadedness I blurted out, “Of course Mr B… yes Sir I am going for the ribbon…” is it the yellow ribbon of the race’s end or the red ribbon of the honor roll… gosh, I don’t know, but I am going for it.

Thanks SAS Ai for this opportunity to go back to school. Thanks for all your caring, kindness and generosity.

We are ready and hummin’. Education is freedom! Yay!