On July 17, 2018, a huge box arrived at Jawili Integrated School from Kuya Glen of DevelopPhilippines.org and somehow, the students who saw the box arrive must have sensed that it holds a lot of wonderful things for them.
After sorting the books, bags, toys, and other school and office supplies at the principal’s office, some of the students helped me carry the books to our makeshift library. The learners, especially the elementary students begged me to allow them to read the books right away. I told them that I have to add the books’ information to the inventory first so I will allow them to read the books but only in the library for the time being. They cannot borrow any of the books overnight until I am done with all the documentation and inventory.
The next day, the books were ready to be borrowed and I just can’t describe how the kids’ eyes shone, how they smiled a lot, and talked excitedly. I didn’t have the heart to ask them to be silent at the library.
Two years after, fast forward to the present, there won’t be any face-to-face classes this year which means that the learners will not go to school which also means that no one will be using the library except for the teachers. However, that doesn’t mean that the books would be lonely for the whole year.
The Supreme Student Government and Special Projects Committee came up with two programs to make sure that the learners can still use these books without having to actually go to the library. These programs are JIS Reads which is a series of storytelling videos using the donated books which will be uploaded to the school’s Facebook Page, and Quaran-read wherein we will ask the learners’ parents or guardians if their child or ward would like to borrow a book to read so we can place a book inside their envelope with their modules and just ask them to return the book the following week.
The Jawili Integrated School will be forever grateful for these books from DevelopPhilippines.org. These are indeed, gifts that just keep on giving. We will continue to take good care of these books so that these will be available even to the next generations. Books are perhaps the best way to travel and to go on adventures especially on this time of pandemic when kids are not allowed to go out of the house. Perhaps, these books will serve as their friends when they can’t actually be with their friends. Maybe these books can give them hope, give them something to look forward to, and inspire them to be the best versions of themselves. One thing is for sure, these books will always remind the Jawili Integrated School community of Kuya Glen and DevelopPhilippine.org’s love, kindness, and generosity!