For an urbanite like myself, the trip to Laurel Elementary School from the city proper is a long one. It is a twenty minute ride by tricycle and an adventurous one at that! One would get a glimpse of life in the countryside in this part of Tanauan, Batangas: the rice fields, the sugar cane plantations and the fresh vegetables sold by the roadside. The school, Laurel Elementary School, stands in front of the majestic Mt. Makiling. In the midst of this rural environment, a school library started growing in July. Last October 26, 2013, after two postponements due to typhoons, the library at Laurel Elementary School was finally launched to the community.
Sambat Trust partnered with Accenture and First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) to make the dream of a school library possible in Laurel Elementary School. With the help of Mr. Marco Amurao (FPIP) and Mr. Neil Hidalgo (Accenture), the prime movers of this school library project in Barangay Laurel, children in the school now have good books and a place where they can learn outside of the classroom.
The Parent Teacher Association and Barangay Officials pitched in as well. They put together a core group who built the tables, chairs and painted the school library's murals. The teachers of Laurel Elementary School, headed by Mrs. Buenalyn Manuel, gave their all out support during the author visit of Ms. Candy Gourlay and on the day of the launch itself.
October 26 was a busy day for everyone as it was the last campaign day of the Barangay Elections. Nonetheless, Brgy. Captain Antonio Tercero gave his time to welcome the guests, visitors and the Laurel Elementary School community present during the turn-over program. Mr. Nanoy Rafael, award-winning author of Naku! Naku! Naku! graced the occasion by giving an inspirational talk for the children, parents and teachers. Mr. Darrel Marco, school librarian of Xavier School Nuvali did storytelling of Mr. Rafael's book.
Mr. Rafael encouraged the children to keep on imagining. Books help you develop your sense of wonder, he said. Mr. Rafel is right. A wondering mind is a creative mind that is capable of solving problems and surpassing obstacles in life. Well managed libraries have books that develop these skills. With the presence of a new school library in Laurel Elementary School, we all hope for children, and those who care for them, to continue imagining a better world.
Special thanks go to Fuji Industries Manila Corp., Taga Tanauan Batangas Ka, and Hands-On Tanauan Youth Organization for being part of the school library project. Your cooperation with Sambat Trust, Accenture and FPIP is very much appreciated. We hope to build more school libraries in Tanauan, Batangas. With the help of the community, this can be done!