It was sometime in April 2015 when we sent out our first solicitation letter introducing KIDS Club to our friends and family. That letter was to request assistance for our Bayanihan para sa Silid Aralan. It is a community outreach project to help the students of Kasiglahan Village Elementary School as they start the new school year. 365 days later, we were back at the same school. But this time instead of just doing a community project, we were there to celebrate our first year as an organization.
Instead of having one big event to celebrate this special day, we were fortunate to have several events on 30 April until 2 May.
5-Day Celebration of KIDS Club
30 April Activities
1. Me and My Environment through Foldscope
For this year, KIDS Club has launched its Me and My Environment Program is a series of capacity building activities which aims to enhance the children’s awareness and appreciation of the environment especially the nature through different disciplines like the science and the arts. For its first series, we have conducted a Foldscope Workshop with the learners of Silid Aralan, Inc. at Kasiglahan Village Elementary School. Foldscope is an origami optical microscope. It was developed by the team of Dr. Manu Prakash from Standford University, USA. Dr. Prakash was kind enough to provide us with around 30 units of Foldscope to conduct the ever first workshop in the Philippines.
There were around 20 learners, 10 volunteer kids (children of KIDS Club members), some volunteer parents, and members of Silid Aralan. Mr. Arcie Mallari, Founder and CEO of Silid Aralan, gave the opening remarks while Ms. Evalyn Evangelista, Co-Founder and President of KIDS Club, gave a brief background of Me and My Environment Program as well as introduced the workshop facilitator. Dr. Christian Budich, Co-Founder and Director of KIDS Club, facilitated the workshop.
During the first part of the workshop, Dr. Christian gave a short introduction about himself and his work as a science engineer. He also explained briefly the history of microscopy, the different types of microscopes, and a backgrounder of Foldscope.
Afterwards, the group divided into ten with two-three members each. Members of KIDS Club were then assigned to assist each group as they try to construct their own Foldscope unit. Dr. Christian gave a step-by-step instruction on how to make the Foldscope and from time to time walked around the room to check each group’s progress.
Once the Foldscopes were finished, the participants were excited to use them for experiment. Each group then received a slice of onion skin to use as sample. The children were amazed as they observe the details of the onion cell through the Foldscope. Similarly, the adults were also excited to observe. Using the things inside the art kits that we provided, we then asked the children to draw what they saw on their sketch pads. It was very interesting to see that despite the uniform sample that all groups received, each learner has her/his unique interpretation of what he/she saw.
Since this project is in collaboration with Stanford University, we posted a report about the workshop in their website. To read the full article, please click here. We were so honoured to read the message of Dr. Manu Prakash, assistant professor of Bioengineering at Stanford School of Medicine.
Dear @KidsClubPhilippines and @Anna,
What a fantastic post and thorough documentation. Absolutely thrilled to read the same and excited to see how the kids reacted. Those sketches they made are precisely.
We have been asking participants to document the work well; because it acts as an inspiration and direct material on others to engage the youth. Absolutely love how you captured the spirit of the workshop.
Can’t wait to read more posts from the KidsClub. This would be the first group of Filipino kids.
Are the photographs from the village workshop or the one in Manila.
Welcome to the Foldscope community
2. Me and My Environment through Ikebana
On the same day after the Foldscope Workshop, we conducted the second series of Me and My Environment Program which is an Introduction to Ikebana. The workshop was focused on introducing the Japanese art of flower arrangement to the learners as a way of promoting the balanced relationship of humans to the environment. KIDS Club Founder and Chairperson, Ms. Anna Budich facilitated that said workshop. She is also a licensed Ikebana teacher under the Sogetsu School in Japan.
Ms. Anna first made a short presentation about the history of Ikebana and its principles. After the presentation, the children first made their own vases or containers using paper cups and brown paper bags. Each participant made his/her own design using other art tools found inside their Art Kit. When all vases were finished, a demonstration on how make the basic Sogetsu-style Ikebana followed. The participants first chose the three main materials which will serve as their Shin (first main stem), Soe (second main stem), and Hikae (third main stem). Afterwards, following Ms. Anna, they placed these stems into their vases accordingly.
After the exercise, all flower arrangements were arranged side by side for the participants to enjoy looking. They were fascinated by the uniqueness of each arrangement although they were given the same materials. Their excitement increased when they were told that they can bring home their flowers. Most of them said that they will give them to their moms as presents.
3. Anniversary Celebration at Villa Rivera Wave Resort
To end the long yet enjoyable day, members of KIDS Club headed to Villa Rivera Wave Resort in Rodriguez, Rizal for some relaxation and club bonding. The group enjoyed a refreshing night swim and some delicious food.
1-2 May Activities
4. Site Visit for the KIDS DREAM Hub in Baguio
As early as 3:00 in the morning of 1st May, KIDS Club founders (Anna, Christian, and Bang) together with Mr. Arcie Mallari and learner CJ Obligacion headed to Baguio City to visit the host school for the future KIDS DREAM Hub project. The DREAM (Discover, Relax, Explore, Achieve, Motivate) Hub will serve as a learning and playing venue of the students under the Silid Aralan program. The hub will be placed in one of the classrooms of Camp 7 Elementary School and will be used by Silid Aralan learners. During the site visit, the group met with the school principal who was very kind to permanently designate the room as the DREAM Hub. In exchange, the hub ‘s play and reading areas will be opened to other students to enjoy.
The team was also fortunate to meet with the President and Vice-President for Administration of the University of Cordilleras, the local partner of Silid Aralan. It was also an opportunity for the team to personally thank the University heads for hosting the accommodation and local transportation during the said site visit.
5. MOA Signing with Silid Aralan, Inc.
Before the team headed back to Manila, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was confirmed and signed by the founders of both organizations. Mr. Arcie signed on behalf of Silid Aralan while Ms. Anna signed for KIDS Club. Ms. Evalyn also signed as a witness. The MOA confirms that KIDS Club shall be the official partner of Silid Aralan in building a DREAM Hub in every Silid Aralan learning center. Also, the MOA formalizes other capacity building activities and community projects between the two the organizations in the near future.