SOME 27 public schools and thousands of learners across the City of San Fernando, Pampanga are now being served by education community pantries, launched recently by the local government unit via its Project Nest (Nurturing Environment and System for Thriving), in cooperation with the City Schools Division of San Fernando.
Inspired by food-based community pantries that sparked volunteerism and unity across the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Project Nest: Education Community Pantry is a brainchild of a group of Fernandinos from public and private sectors with the goal of supplement to the learning needs of students and parents in the City of San Fernando.
Included in the tangible items available at the pantries were school supplies and learning materials; while services, including tutoring, counseling, parenting tips, among others, were available under the intangible category.
The “Education Community Pantry” is now present at the Baliti Integrated School, Calulut Integrated School, Northville Elementary School, Del Carmen Integrated School, Dela Paz Norte Elementary School, Dela Paz Sur Elementary School, Nuestra Señora Del Pilar Integrated School, Dolores Integrated School, San Jose Juliana Elementary School, Lara Integrated School Magliman Integrated School, Panipuan Elementary School, St. Vincent of Quebiawan Integrated School, San Agustin Integrated School Main and San Agustin Integrated School Annex and Archbishop Emilio Cinense Memorial Integrated School (San Felipe) San Isidro Integrated School.
Also with education pantries are San Jose Panlumancan Integrated School, San Juan South Elementary School, City of San Fernando West Integrated School (San Juan), San Pedro Integrated School, Sindalan Elementary School, Sta. Lucia Integrated School, Pampanga High School (Sta. Teresita), Sto. Niño Elementary School, San Pablo Integrated School (Telabastagan) and Telabastagan Integrated School.
“Ang pangangailangan ng mga bata at magulang sa aspeto ng edukasyon ay hindi natatapos. Kailangan ay tuloy-tuloy ang access nila dito kaya ang implementasyon ng ating programa, magagawa siya sa buong school year,” said David Zab Jimenez, education consultant of the City Government of San Fernando, who established the said project.
“Sa proyektong ito, maaaring magbigay at humingi ang isang magulang, bata, o guardian ng tangible at intangible na education needs,” he added.
Parents or guardians are encouraged to join the Nest Education Community Pantry of the school in their barangay by communicating with the school head or the student’s teachers.
They may also visit the school, barangay, or their respective Sangguniang Kabataan offices to drop their letters or forms containing their request for supplies or services.
Meanwhile, individuals or groups may also physically drop their tangible donations or relay their interests to serve through the school or barangay offices within their area, in the likes of the Brigada Eskwela.
One of the 27 schools with an established pantry was the Panipuan Elementary School in the northern part of the City of San Fernando. Distribution of donations started on September 14, 2021, in time for the first week of classes for School Year 2021-2022.
“Napakaganda na mayroong ‘spirit of sharing’ ngayong panahon ng pandemiya dahil maraming mga pamilya ang nangangailangan ng karagdagang kagamitan o tulong sa edukasyon. Kami sa sektor ng edukasyon, sinisiguro sa ating mga donors at benefactors na mapupunta sa mga nangangailangan itong mga tulong nila,” said Maria Luz Dacoco, school principal.
Dacoco said the donations were from different individuals or groups that include common folks, local officials and the business community.
As education still tops the 10-point agenda of Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago, the City Government, from the onset of the pandemic up to now, assured access to quality education among the parents and students, through the efficient utilization of Special Education Fund and the welcoming of individuals and groups who serve as the city’s benefactors. (JTD)