More fun for Grades 1,2 of Olongapo Elem School




By Rose de la Cruz


Going to a brand-new classroom is more fun for the Grades 1 and 2 students of Kalalake Elementary School, which only last Sept. 12 received from SM Prime, through SM Foundation Inc., a brand-new two-story, four-classroom schoolbuilding, that augments the 9 buildings in its campus.


The donation came fully-furnished with 200 armchairs (including 20 left-hander chairs), (200 armchairs for students, four sets of teacher’s table/chair, 16 wall fans, eight blackboards, four wall clocks, and four toilets) from SM Prime Holdings, Inc. through SM Foundation.


All the furniture were done by SM’s supplier, the Foundation of These-abled Inc., an NGO of disabled people which SM has been assisting through the years.


The donation augments the current nine school buildings in the campus that serves 2,000 students from Barangays Kalalake, Pag-asa, East Bajakjak, Asinan and Tapinac. Around 115 of its students are children with autism, are hearing or visually- impaired while others are intellectually- challenged, have behavioral problems and still others are in the so-called “transition” class. These SPED classes cater to pupils not only from Olongapo but its neighbors in San Marcelino, Zambales and Bataan.


Like other SM-donated school buildings, the new school building is PWD-friendly with a PWD ramp and dedicated toilet for them.  It is also emergency-ready with a fire alarm bell, a staircase on both sides of the building, and emergency lights at the landings of both staircases.  Two spotlights were likewise installed outside the new building.  


The school has also classes for intellectually- gifted children or the “fast learners.”  The 259 gifted children are from Grades 1 – 2 (2 sections), Grade 3,4,5 (1 section each) and Grade 6 – (2 sections). The school boasts of alumni who are themselves achievers—a graduate with Latin honors from San Beda College, a UP graduate of Library Science, and a graduate from the Asian Institute of Computer Science who is now an Assistant teacher in the school.


Many of the specially- gifted students of the school make it to the Philippine Science High School in different campuses, including the main campus in Quezon City, according to Neny Regino of SM Foundation.


SM Foundation’s donation is in line with its participation in DepEd’s Adopt-a-school program since 2002 to help the government address the classroom shortages and provide a more conducive learning environment to the country’s students to inspire them to study harder and do better at school.


SM Foundation, established in 1983, is the social development arm of the SM Group of companies, committed to uplift the lives of communities where the group operates.


The Kalalake ES schoolbuilding forms part of the over 90 schools built by SM Prime through the SM Foundation.


Left-handed children will also find ease in using 20-left handed armchairs that were produced by the Foundation of These-abled Inc. (FTI), which makes all the armchairs and teachers’ desk and tables. The foundation has been supporting FTI for years because it just doesn’t donate but boosts the PWDs’ self-pride and self-esteem from every piece they produce for the learners.


Aside from the schoolbuilding, SM Prime also donated to the school the following: book corner with shelves and some chairs; 2,000 books; 20 computers and two spotlights installed outside the building.


In support of DepEd’s Project WATCH (We Advocate Time Consciousness and Honesty), SM donated wall clocks to other existing classrooms so that students will learn to be in school on time and become more conscious of how they use time.


Since the foundation’s creation in 1983, over 15,000 students have benefitted from the 95 school buildings constructed with 308 classrooms including 15,050 armchairs of which 200 are for left- handed children, 602 blackboards, 314 teacher’s desk/table sets, 1,198 wall fans, 314 washrooms including PWD toilets.


The 9 buildings in the school campus have 54 instructional classrooms.  Auxiliary rooms are the school canteen, library, clinic, laboratory room and home economics with a compliment of 61 regular teachers. 10 of these classrooms are used by the intellectually-gifted students and those with special needs.


The donation to Kalalake Elementary School is the 2nd school building donated by SM Foundation to Olongapo.


The school has also classes for intellectually gifted children, also called “fast learners”. The 259 gifted children are from Grades 1 – 2 (2 sections), Grade 3,4,5 (1 section each) & Grade 6 – (2 sections).  When the SM team arrived at the school campus, we were greeted with a huge tarpolin announcing the cum laude graduate of San Beda College, Bachelor of Science in Business Management ( Issac Arnelle C. Sunga), a UP graduate of Library Science(Klarenze Kristoffer M. Quinones) and another outstanding student from SPED, (J.V. Ron Monteverde) graduated from the Asian Institute of Computer Science & is now an Assistant teacher in the school, Regino said.


School Principal, Pastor Ll. Padua, who just retired from government service last April said these specially gifted children usually take qualifying exams in the Philippine Science High School Clark campus while others go to Manila. Many of them pass the entrance exams in these schools.