“Today is a happy day for bookworms like me,” said Ms. Melodessa Verola, the interim principal of Ambulong Elementary School, to welcome the attendees of the school’s library launch on October 20, 2012.
It was really a blissful day, not only for bookworms, but for the other stakeholders of the eighth library established by Sambat Trust. The event was attended by the school’s faculty, staff and members of the parents-teachers association; the barangay officials; supervisors from the district and division level; members of the Tanauan United for Progress and Development (TUPAD); Sambat Trust founder Anthony Mariano, coordinator Zarah Gagatiga, and photographer Cindy Bajema; and, of course, the school’s students.
There was a formal program to ceremonially turn over the library by Sambat Trust to the school. In the program, several speeches of gratitude were delivered from both the donors and the beneficiaries.
Working as a Community
The establishment of Ambulong Elementary School Library exemplifies the saying, “It takes a village to educate the child.” That is because, besides the school, the community around it contributed to the realization of the library installment. Firstly, the school administration coordinated with Sambat Trust to include the school in the list of the organization’s beneficiaries. Then the teachers and students cleaned the library, oriented future users and created rules of use. The barangay officials and parents assisted in restoring shelves and repainting the room.
The school library now functions not only as a library for the utility of the school but also for the community members who want to read and borrow books.
Promises and Wishes
Sambat Trust will continue to support the school. Zarah Gagatiga confirmed that the organization will donate more books, local and foreign. She promised also to provide training sessions for the continuing education of the teachers, especially in the area of storytelling. For the students, she vowed to bring in writers and storytellers to share and tell stories in the future.
To end the launch, Zarah Gagatiga told the students a lot of stories in various ways in the new library. One was “The Mother Cat” which was done using kamishibai or Japanese flash cards. The others were “Si Dindo Pundido” presented in a picture book, a story about recycling things by tearing paper, a story about two friends using fingers, and a story about a child handkerchief.
The children asked for more stories but there was no more time. So, Zarah Gagatiga promised to return to their school, maybe with a guest, to tell them more stories.
Well, it was really a happy day for the students and for everyone who will benefit from the new school library! Surely, they will be encouraged to become readers and to become leaders as well in their community.