Another school year means advancing a grade level further, but sponsored child Evalyn in the Philippines is most excited to learn new lessons and meet new friends and teachers.
Her new school supplies, given by World Vision, inspire her to excel in her studies. Read on for Evalyn's first-person account of her first day back at school.
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“I was extremely excited for my first day [back] at school. I woke up early [in the] morning, took a bath, and ate a heavy breakfast. Mama cooked rice and the usual fish paksiw (fish in vinegar sauce).
I had all my requirements laid out -- school bag, packed lunch with little fork and spoon, a hankie and a little towel, and school supplies labeled with my name written in black industrial ink.
I wore my best clothes. Mama is a seamstress and she made these trousers for me. Since my parents couldn’t afford to buy shoes yet, I washed my muddy slippers [flip-flops]. Then, I was thrilled to go.
To get to school, I could take a motorcycle, yet I prefer to hike. It isn’t so tiring because there are plenty of other students also trooping [to school] along the way. Children from our barrio neighborhood prefer to traverse the [walk of] more than a kilometer, even over rough roads, to save transportation fare.
Heading toward the school gate, I saw children starting routine school chores. The girls swept the grounds, while the boys fetched water from the pump. Others pulled weeds from the garden, and the rest cleaned classrooms.
We usually do this before classes start, because public schools in Himaya, like the rest of the Philippines, don’t have utility and maintenance personnel.
I met my new teacher. I like her because she’s friendly and smart. She facilitated a “getting-to-know-you” activity for us to know each other more.
After gaining new friends, we conducted an election of class officers. I’m proud to be chosen as the class treasurer.
Our new lessons are becoming more interesting. On the first day, we tackled science and math. I used my new set of school supplies, given by World Vision, to take down notes.
I received 14 paper pads, 14 ball pens, one set of crayons, 15 notebooks, and a plastic envelope [for storage]. I covered my notebooks with plastic so that they won’t be easily worn out. I truly value these gifts.
I feel happy to receive these supplies. Our poverty inspires me to do well in school so that I could help my family [later on]. Papa doesn’t make much from farming, so I’m glad I’m sponsored. My parents don’t need to worry about purchasing the things I need for school, because World Vision provides them.
After school, we enjoy playing luksong tinik (“jumping thorns,” a game similar to leap-frog) and hide-and-seek. I realized that school is cool indeed. The fun activities lift my spirits up.
Even if summer is over, it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of fun and excitement.”
Read related story: Poverty no longer keeps eager boy out of school
Providing access to education is one of the best ways to help lift a child out of poverty -- and, when that's combined with access to other basics like nutritious food, clean water, and medical care, the result is stability for the present and hope for the future.
Consider sponsoring a child in the Philippines today. You can be the love and support that helps keep a boy or girl in school, with the freedom to learn -- and dream.
Check out other ways in which you can help provide children around the world with the gift of education during this back-to-school season.