One Step at a Time

  • Added:
    Sep 16, 2013
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One Step at a Time Photo by Maria Angela Erlano

“CORNERSTONE aims to reach out to slow readers in elementary children in public schools through Reading Tutorials and Values Formation. The High School [Secondary] Program aims to reach out to High School leaders through Christian leadership and Values Formation.”

THE first time my sister & I heard about CORNERSTONE, we decided right then and there that we would like to help in their mission by volunteering as tutors. I thought that it would be a fun, worthwhile & easy activity since I have a share of experience being a teacher when I was young (we used to play “titser-titseran” when we were kids =). Well, I’m right about “fun” & “worthwhile” part but what I failed to anticipate is that teaching kids was never easy. I only realize the weight of responsibility that comes along this mission after my first day of being a “tutor.”

Before starting our lesson, we had a quick chat with the students that we are handling. We asked questions like “Pang-ilan ka sa magkakapatid?,” or “Anong trabaho ng tatay/nanay mo?” that’s why we get a little bit of information about their personal lives. We found out that almost all of the students that we are tutoring came from poor families and most of them have 5 or more siblings. After our chat, I felt that the students became a bit relaxed and then we proceed on the assessment exercise which aims to test what level of learning did the child have.

I was disappointed at the result of the exam because the students that we are tutoring were not familiar with the basic English alphabet. They were already on elementary level (grade 2 & 3) but they didn’t even know how to read in English.  It was a devastating reality about Filipino education but it doesn’t mean that we cannot do anything about the situation. I hope that in small ways, we would be able to help these students.

As we were on our way back home, I felt sad, frustrated and disappointed. I feel like I could have done more to help them. It may not be a big help nor it would end world hunger, but I know this CORNERSTONE mission will definitely change & somehow help improve the lives of other people. Join me? =)
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I thought that I was the one helping them, it turns out to be otherwise. "Great is Your love oh God in me... =)

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