GFF Helps Philippines Celebrating Progress

Empowering Students Through Literacy and Numeracy: GFF HELPS Philippines’ Ongoing Remedial Classes

The remedial classes at Sigcay Elementary School and Lapnag Primary School, partners since the inception of GFF HELPS Philippines, are pivotal in aiding students to achieve competencies in core academic skills like literacy and numeracy. With a focus on English and Mathematics, we prepare and print worksheets to enhance these skills. Rewards such as stamps, stickers, and snacks are used to motivate students, especially low performers, boosting their confidence with consistent praise.

Recognizing the diversity in learning styles, we’ve embraced the concept of remedial classes, including house-to-house sessions at Ugsod and Laserna Villages. These personalized sessions cater to children’s needs in comfortable spaces, ensuring targeted academic support. As a result, students show significant improvement, reading English words and sentences, and identifying differences among objects.

With the end of the school year approaching and the Holy Week around the corner, our activities vary based on the students’ levels and monthly celebrations. We also celebrate the achievements of Grade 4 students at Lapnag Primary School, who will be graduating this May and moving on to new educational journeys. While we will miss them, we are immensely proud of their progress and the memories we’ve created together.

Fostering Strategic Thinking: The Ongoing Sports Project at Lapnag Primary School

The Sports Project at Lapnag Primary School continues to thrive, with students in Levels 3 and 4 engaging in Scrabble and Chess. These games, introduced last year, have become a platform for students to develop strategic thinking and teamwork. Most students can now play independently, coaching each other and excelling in the games.

We plan to organize one-on-one matches for top players to compete. This month’s sessions saw a plethora of new words in Scrabble and innovative moves in Chess. These activities foster not just skills in board games but also essential life skills like communication, cooperation, and resilience.

Team sports and board games alike are essential for relationship-building and character development. The students’ enthusiasm and progress are evident as they eagerly participate, strategize, and laugh together, creating lasting memories. Their loud “yes” when asked if they enjoy playing Scrabble and Chess speaks volumes about their engagement and the positive impact of the Sports Project.

We continue to monitor their games to ensure fair play and adherence to rules, supporting their journey of learning and growth through these timeless, mind-engaging activities.

Promoting Health: The Importance of Hand Hygiene at Sigcay and Lapnag Schools

Hand hygiene, especially handwashing, is crucial for removing germs and preventing disease spread. At Sigcay Elementary and Lapnag Primary Schools, children are taught proper handwashing with soap and water, effectively eliminating bacteria.

Recognized by the WHO as a vital disease prevention method, handwashing is even more critical in the COVID-19 era. Our mentors guide children in integrating hand hygiene into their daily routines.

The eager participation of students in handwashing activities, despite challenges like water supply issues, highlights their commitment to health. Weekly, we provide antibacterial soap, utilizing classroom sinks when necessary, teaching students the importance of cleanliness and resourcefulness.

Ensuring Good Health for All: Blood Pressure Monitoring for Adults and Seniors in Sigcay and Lapnag Villages

Adults and senior citizens need equal health benefits and government support. During our recent House-to-House Remedial Classes, we discovered that many villagers were not regularly monitoring their blood pressure, doing so only during village meetings with health workers.

Taking this into account, we initiated weekly free blood pressure check-ups for adults, seniors, and teachers at Sigcay and Lapnag schools. Mothers and grandmothers, often waiting for their children’s dismissal, were thrilled with this service. Some had high blood pressure but were neglecting their medication.

Given the distance to health clinics and costs, many villagers ignore their blood pressure, risking their health. Our weekly visits help them stay conscious of their health, encouraging them to seek medical advice when necessary. As part of our Health Project, GFF HELPS Philippines provides free blood pressure and weight checks during all our community projects, ensuring that everyone stays informed about their health.

Promoting Literacy and Health Awareness Among Indigenous Youths in Aklan

Reading skills are crucial for academic success, especially among indigenous youths. We organized a reading workshop in the Ati Community, Aliputos village, Numancia, Aklan. Ms. Cristine Joy Planos, a Licensed Professional Teacher, read English stories and translated them into Filipino and Aklanon. The children enjoyed and understood the stories, sparking their interest in reading.

Additionally, through GFF HELPS Philippines, we conducted a seminar on Menstrual Care, Hygiene, and Nutritious Foods for women. Around 10 women attended, where they learned about menstrual hygiene practices and the benefits of foods like avocado and fish. We provided handouts and conducted health checks, revealing health issues due to late-night work and limited access to nutritious food. We encouraged regular medical check-ups.

The GFF HELPS Philippines Team also made a significant impact on the education of the AETA Indigenous Community in Aklan Province by introducing ADULT LITERACY classes. Licensed Professional Teachers LP and Stef conduct language classes every Tuesday afternoon. Many of these adults did not have the opportunity to attend school in their childhood due to poverty, location, and sometimes, bullying because of their physical appearance.

We look forward to continuing our work with the Ati Community with upcoming projects in May.

“My daughters and granddaughters, as well as some other women here in our community prefer using the traditional menstrual cloth during their menstrual period. Thank you GFF HELPS for educating us on how to maintain cleanliness with our bodies, diet and menstrual care” – Chieftain Alice

Spreading Love: Teaching Values Through Action

During this month, we’ve focused on expressing love to those close to us, especially through initiatives with children in villages. Our team provided materials for card-making, guiding children through cutting, writing, and designing. The heartfelt letters they created were given to their mothers, whose faces lit up with joy upon receiving these handmade tokens of gratitude.

At Lapnag Primary School, we continued spreading joy with a “happy hearts” video greeting created by the children. This gesture aimed to share positivity and love with everyone.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8th, honoring women’s achievements and advocating for gender equality remains crucial. This year’s theme, “Inspire Inclusion,” highlights the importance of diversity and empowerment in our society. To mark this occasion, we conducted activities in schools, providing coloring and writing materials for students to create heartfelt cards and messages for the influential women in their lives. Guiding them through this activity, we ensured they grasped the significance of celebrating women’s contributions and achievements.

Through these efforts, we aim to instill values of love, gratitude, and inclusivity in children, both at home and in school, fostering a brighter future built on respect and appreciation.

Joe FisherGFF Helps Philippines Celebrating Progress