Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mano Amiga is 7 Years Old!

September 24 was a day of celebration as we marked Mano Amiga Academy's seventh birthday. A milestone all on its own, it also marked our last foundation day in our home for the past seven years before our big move next year.

Commencing the day's affair was the Eucharistic celebration officiated by our school chaplain, Fr. Duc Bui, LC. This year's theme was Reminiscing the Past, Building a Better Future - a reminder of how far we have come as a community and how our roots have shaped us to where we are today. Opening the program was a dance number of 80's medley performed by the teachers and administrative staff.

Kicking off the students' performances who were assigned highlights from past school years as the theme of their presentations, were our sixth graders. As the first batch of students of Mano Amiga Academy, the sixth graders, who were dressed up as little girls and boys, presented their own spin on the nursery rhymes taught to them by their first class adviser. The fifth graders presented a fresher take on the United Nations festivities of the year assigned to them. The fourth graders on the other hand, went for a more dramatic approach as they presented the ravages brought upon by Typhoon Ondoy. Not one to disappoint, our third graders did a medley of cheer dancing routines for their presentation. Last but not the least, our second graders performed a colorful and unique presentation of the Papal Visit - complete with their very own Papa Francesco on his pope mobile.

Top photo: Grade 6 Presentation, Bottom left photo: Grade 4 Presentation,
Bottom right photo: Grade 3 Presentation

Top left photo:Grade 2 presentation, Top right photo: students' thank you message
Bottom photo: Grade 5 presentation

In closing, the whole Mano Amiga community was treated to heartfelt letters of gratitude prepared by the students, teachers and board members who have been a part of our journey from day one. This year's foundation day may have been a little bittersweet, as it marked the end of our stay in our home for the past seven years; but it was also a beautiful celebration of reminiscing our past as we continue to build a better future.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

First Day High in Mano Amiga Academy: The long wait is over, seize the Day!

Carpe diemis a Latin phrase usually translated in the English language as “seize the day”, and that was exactly what the Mano Amiga kids did last 3rd August, 2015, as they welcomed the new school year.  Coming from an unusually long summer vacation due to Mano Amiga’s adapting the August school calendar, the kids couldn’t hide the excitement as they enthusiastically approached the new learnings and discoveries that the new school year has to offer.

During the day, lots of fun and fulfilling activities were done to kick off the beginning of the new academic journey for the kids. The day began with a mass which was how the Mano Amiga kids and teachers started off the school year right. After the mass, they all proceeded to their respective classes, enthusiastic and expectant of an amazing journey this year. 

While it seemed to be dreadful for most school kids these days, the first day of classes turned out to be much anticipated by the kids of Mano Amiga. An evidence to this is how non-reluctantly each of them took part in the activities during the day; which included an earthquake drill during the afternoon, in participation with the country’s preparation for “The Big One”. While some adults as reported in the news, didn’t take the drill seriously, the Mano Amiga kids took it by heart with excellent obedience to the instructions given to them – another reminder for us that the best time to educate members of the society about anything is probably while they are still young.

             As part of the first day of classes as well, the teachers announced to the kids the programs and activities that are in store for them for the entire year. “The classroom buzzed with excitement when my students found out that we will be having the SRA Reading Laboratory Program this school year. A great avenue indeed for the kids to love reading more!”, recalls Teacher She, one of the Mano Amiga teachers.

One of our Grade 6 students remarks, “Do what makes you learn things”. Hearing this, we realize the importance of giving the kids activities that bring out the best learner in each of them: much more, starting off the school year with activities that put the kids in the learning grind. This joyful thirst of the Mano Amiga kids towards learning and education is what fuels the Mano Amiga team to pursue more excellence in the work that we are very privileged to do.

            With the exciting changes and new discoveries that the new school year brings in, the same goal remains at the core of the school. Here’s to a new year of creating change and transforming lives.