Community Partners, Not Just Helpers

By Ms. Rachel Sarah Lim, Gr2 Class Adviser

Imagine how our streets would look like without people patiently cleaning it. Imagine the fear and anxiety we would feel without firemen braving houses on fire. Imagine our lives without policemen and MMDA personnel protecting our streets, and guiding us on the road.

Imagine a life without community helpers.

Would it be a better place?

I bet not.

From February 3-6, the Grade 2 boys had the chance to get to know different San Juan community helpers through their annual Service Interaction. Each section was given one day off from their academic life to meet new friends. There were street sweepers, firemen, policemen, postmen, and barangay tanods who spared some time from their busy schedule to share parts of their lives with these curious boys. The program was aligned to their Social Studies lesson on which they learned about different community helpers. This was a great way for them to witness personally the things that they have studied. The program ran from 7:30 in the morning until 12 noon.

The event started by introducing all the community helpers that came. Everyone was in their complete uniform, which the boys were thrilled to see. Some of them lent their uniforms for the boys to experience what it was like to wear those. Each of them had the chance to showcase what they were doing in our community in helping us make our lives better.

Those five and a half hours in the Multi-Purpose Center (MPC) were filled with smiles and laughter. I saw how interested the boys were to know something about their community helper who was partnered with them. My heart was really touched when I saw a student hold a printed a list of questions in Filipino. He said he wanted to be prepared because he could not speak in Filipino fluently. I appreciated that gesture for it simply means that he was breaking the language barrier for him to communicate well with his partner.

I guess a lot of them would agree that the games were the part they enjoyed the most. It was a time for them to bond more with their partners as they worked together to win. I saw how each of the community partners assisted the little boys in different tasks, and how the boys valued their partners as their kuyas and ates. There might have been winners, but for me, everyone was a winner because the goal of this was to strengthen the bond among the community helpers and students. And each of them was successful.

A program would not be complete without showcasing talents, right? The Grade 2 boys serenaded the guests with Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, a sweet song just in time for the love month. The visitors also shared their talents through singing songs and dance numbers. The songs might not ring a bell to the boys’ ears, but it was evident that they had fun watching their kuyas and ates entertain them. The last performance was a joint number from the Grade 2 students and community partners. A video from Just Dance game was shown, and everyone in the room followed the pops, locks, and sways made by the character. You would not know the age difference as every single person was fueled with energy!

Cliché as it may be, but of course, there is an end to everything. The Interaction was capped-off by thanking them for the effort the community partners had exerted in visiting the boys. They gave them packs of food, and a small souvenir. In the same way, a number of representatives thanked the Xavier community—students and faculty alike–in making this event possible.

As a teacher, I was fulfilled to see how much these students appreciated and accommodated their visitors. As young as they may be, they were mature enough to communicate and exchange ideas with different individuals from different walks of life. Through this activity, I can say that they were not just community helpers, but our partners in making our community a better place.

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