Last March 13, 2013 was a big day for Cornerstone Volunteers and tutees as it marks the “Moving Up day” or the kid’s graduation day. It was year of fun, love and wonderful service.! The tutees sang their favorite song as a sign of thank you to a wonderful year. Aba syempre po! 🙂
This is a late post, but I hope this will inspire us to serve in Cornerstone.
Cornerstone – a CFC program in partnership with the Ateneo Center for Educational Development held its first TEACH Expo last May 12, 2012 at Singson Hall, Ateneo de Manila University. This whole day affair gathered more than 250 volunteers from CFC Singles for Christ, and 41 passionate partners from the CFC Handmaids of the Lord and Couples for Christ (CFC) – all of which were brought together by the same fire to share God’s love to young learners. JQ Quimpang led our Cornerstone volunteers to an opening worship by alluding to our Lord Jesus Christ, as the greatest teacher of all – one who patiently makes known to us ‘the way, the truth and the life’.
The expo’s battle cry, Through Education Anything Can Happen was laid out by Cornerstone’s Project Director, Bernie Cuevas. This year’s thrust was to cater to 100 schools for the upcoming school year 2012 – 2013. Mel Oracion, Executive Director of Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED), in her opening remarks defined poverty as a monster with many hearts – killing just one at a time will not be enough. Cornerstone, in its commitment to mentor the young, provides us with a concrete and sustainable way of getting rid of the monster. By raising the quality of education that students in public schools have, we can assure good future for this younger generation of Filipinos.
The whole event was dedicated to sharpen the skills of Cornerstone volunteers, and equip those who don’t have prior teaching backgrounds. The first session entitled, Building Awareness of Learning Disabilities was given by Jenny Tapales, co-founder and a member of the board of directors of Ed Link Foundation and Link Ed Incorporated. Tapales’ session roused awareness and deeper understanding of the students’ feelings by tapping into classroom situations they usually go through. Workshops soon followed to boost the creativity and passion of all the volunteers. The workshops include Learning Fundamentals, Classroom Management and Discipline, Creative Teaching, Preparation of Instructional Materials, Child Psychology, and Parent Formation Program.
This event was made successful through the combined effort and generosity of Cornerstone full time workers and our partner ADMU, whose fruitful collaboration provided new platforms for learning to all the volunteers. As the expo came to a close with worship by Nic Escalona, the volunteers came home with their minds full of new discoveries, and their hearts ignited to serve and begin anew.
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in one’s eye.” – Mark 12:10-11
It’s been months since I joined the Cornerstone Program. I must say that it is an accident how I get myself into this program, because then I don’t like it. Here’s how it happened, one of my member wanted to attend the Cornerstone training at Ateneo, I gave her name but unfortunately the registration had closed. For some reason, there’s a misunderstanding and my name was listed so I decided to attend the said training with other two SFC sisters from our chapter. I came there without knowing what it’s all about. During the training, the program was clearly discussed and I was overwhelmed of its good effect. However, I can say that teaching is not my cup of tea; it’s outside of my comfort zone. Ever since I hate English subject especially as a mode of communication. I never envisioned myself being a teacher, I even remember telling my family before that I can take any course in college except education so I struggled being an accounting student just to evade that.
Days passed by and we spent every Saturdays doing tutorials for Cornerstone program, we handled the bottom 30 students of San Francisco Elementary School. Those 30 students struggled on reading and comprehension, some are even repeaters. Being a tutor, I learned a lot, met new friends and most importantly developed patience to our little brethren. I made a lot of adjustment but it was very fulfilling and we are joyful every time we teach them, knowing that they will somehow learn from us. I am thankful for this opportunity to be of service to all our little brothers and sisters. Time flies, I just realized that the school year just ended but we are fulfilled because our students passed. As tutors we are now looking forward on the coming school year with this chant in mind:
“I am, I am a cornerstone with you, with you I’m not alone. Together we will build this nation. Cornerstone is our foundation.”
Hope to sing it with you guys soon…..
By: JOY MARASIGAN (Cornerstone Volunteer Tutor)