February 28, 2014 was a very special day for the Kindergarten students of Xavier School Nuvali. Everyone, including their parents, were so excited. In school, they studied about community helpers and their important roles in our society. Finally, they got to see some of these helpers outside their classrooms. The Kinder students went on a field trip with their class advisers Ms. Mina Bona and Ms. Aileen Ty and accompanied by Ms. Niña Ubalde and Mr. Frederick Perez, with some XSN security. To ensure safety, parent supervisors Auntie Nancy, Auntie Anne, Auntie Maj, Auntie Debbie, Auntie Jane, Auntie Christy and Auntie Karina went with the group to help supervise the kids.
First Stop: AMSPEC – Maker of Mongol Pencils and Crayola Products
Upon arrival, our group was welcomed by a guide. The kids were taken to a colorful room where they watched a film about how crayons and pencils were made. Only the teachers were allowed to go with the kids in the area. The parents stayed outside and busied themselves with appreciating Mongol and Crayola products.
After the film viewing, the group was taken to the manufacturing area. We saw the machines used for making the products. The kids were able to feel the texture of the wood used for making their pencils; some of them said it was hard and rough. We saw how pencils were shaped and coated. We saw how gold stubs were attached to pencils to hold the little pink erasers in place. We saw how crayons were made by batches, one color at a time. We watched how the products were packed and placed in their respective boxes, ready for delivery to schools and bookstores.
The kids were in awe. They were so busy observing. Some of them took baby steps just so they could stay to watch a certain station much longer. Some of them walked for the sake of walking but still had their heads turned back, bumping the kid in front. Their eyes were everywhere.
“Did we all enjoy and learn from this trip?” I asked.
“Yes, Auntie!” The kids answered, with excited claps, twinkling eyes and tiny jumps in the air.
My son said, “Mama, now I know why pencils have numbers. Number 3 is the lightest, then 2, and number 1 is the darkest shade.”
After the factory tour, the kids came out with crayons and pencils that were given to them by the AMSPEC staff. It was time to board the bus and go to our next destination.
Next Stop: Gardenia Bakeries Phils., Inc.
When we arrived at the factory, the staff were still busy entertaining other schools. After waiting for several minutes, we were taken inside the facility. We had a little orientation and we watched a film about how to make bread.
The children were taken to the factory itself and watched the bread-making process from the viewing deck. First, there was a giant machine for mixing ingredients to make dough. Then there were machines for baking and slicing the bread. According to the children, the machines and ovens are as tall as buildings. Here, some Aunties heard ten different questions being asked at the same time. Lesson learned: when curious minds start asking, be prepared with answers..
“What is that?”
“Why are they using that for scooping the ingredients?”
“Where do wrappers come from?”
“Why so plenty? Who will eat all of those?”
“Where does it go?”
“Wow! Bread with raisins, my favourite! Where are the other flavors?”
These, coupled with “Ooooohs” and “wows” were their reactions. They were so amazed especially when they saw a big tower with layers of bread. That tower was the cooling cylinder that lowers the temperature of the bread for packing. The kids were so observant and fascinated with the machines.
Finally, it was time to go home. The kids received stickers and toasted bread from the staff. Some of these bread never made it home. They were eaten in the bus. Some kids told me it was so delicious.
The field trip was more than just fun — we learned. It was rewarding and definitely something we would all remember for a very long time. The parent supervisors feel grateful to be given the chance to share a special school activity with the kids.