Last March 4, 2016, Reedley International School was awarded by Character Education Partnership, Philippines the PROMISING PRACTICES AWARD. Our Headmaster, Mr. Jerome Castro, received a plaque of recognition during the INTERNATIONAL EDUCATORS CONFERENCE 2016 held at the University of Asia and the Pacific. Noted 2005 McDonnel Lifetime Achievement Awardee for his work in character education and best-selling author of “Life’s Greatest Lessons”, Dr. Hal Urban, presented the plaque to Mr. Castro.
The Promising Practices Award recognizes “what’s going well in schools in the Philippines. The program is simple in scope and recognizes many wonderful ideas from passionate teachers who are making a real difference in the lives of their students. This is an opportunity to celebrate specific, unique, and fresh ideas in character education.”
Four of the school’s program were recognized as Promising Practices, namely Lower School’s BE A FABULOUS FRIEND, Middle School’s THE GIVING TREE, Junior High School’s GAWAD KALINGA PARTNERSHIP, and Senior High School’s CREATE.BECOME.ADVOCATE.
Lower School’s BE A FABULOUS FRIEND LUNCH is part of the Anti-Bullying Campaign for the Lower School Department, which aims to encourage kindness and infuse a culture of kindness in the school. Students spend quality bonding time with other students who are not their peers or within their immediate social circle. After the activity, the students are encouraged to continue to “look out for each other” even when they are back in their own classrooms and grade levels.
According to Mrs. Sharon Adis, Lower School Principal, “BFF Lunch is just a part of our Kindness Overload campaign through which we aim to infuse a culture of kindness to eliminate bullying behaviors. Through the BFF Lunch, our students are encouraged to look out for each other even when they are back in their own classes.”
Middle School’s THE GIVING TREE is the theme of the Middle School Outreach Program for SY 2015 – 2016. The Middle School students showed caring for others by donating items to Caritas Manila’s program, Segunda Mana. Proceeds from the sale of donated items will fund Caritas Manila’s programs for the poor. Based from the story “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, the activity emphasized the values of kindness and generosity from the heart – giving up something important, even if it hurts, without really expecting something in return.
“The Giving Tree Project creates an awareness on the deeper meaning of generosity, giving until it hurts. It promotes the idea of letting go things or possessions and allowing other people to benefit from them“, Ms. Isabel Valente, Middle School Principal, said.
Junior High School’s GAWAD KALINGA PARTNERSHIP is a vehicle for students to learn that more than material provisions; team spirit, quality time, values-sharing and a generous heart are more important in sustaining the poor’s dignity to live in the middle of challenges that they have to face everyday. Reesians get to appreciate their blessings by sharing them to those who have less in life.
According to Ms. Jo Anne Bilo, Junior High School Principal, ”Junior high School’s partnership with Gawad Kalinga promotes among our students the values of simplicity, humility, teamwork, and appreciation of people from other walks of life. In return, Gawad Kalinga brings in a deeper understanding of their role as Reesians— that they have been blessed with good education and with that they are well-equipped with skills and values that make them more capable of making a difference in the lives of others.”
Senior High School’s CREATE. BECOME. ADVOCATE. Program had students create modules to teach their peers the importance of standing up to bullying. The best student program is implemented by Reedley students in neighboring schools. Last year, Upper School 11-Duke won the contest and their program was held in Irving Hall.
Mrs. Maria Andrea De Guzman, Senior High School Principal, added, “The CBA is a venue for students to give back to their peers and spread the word on how an Anti-Bullying culture can help everyone succeed.”
Mr. Castro expressed his delight over the award stating, “The recognition of these programs are a testament to what Reedley is doing right. I congratulate the different departments for their tireless work and their heart for the formation of the students.”