Sunday, October 24, 2010

Efren Peñaflorida shares how Pinoy kids can achieve the winning edge

This is a post-event writeup about the Galileo Seminar I announced in my other blog a couple of months ago.

*Photos borrowed from Galileo's Facebook page.

Press Release:

The key to molding world-class young Filipinos is by teaching them the value of social responsibility and empowering them to give back to society and promote change. This was the challenge posed by 2009 CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida to the parents and teachers who participated in the recent two-day conference on “Giving Children the Winning Edge” organized by the Galileo Enrichment Learning Program and Wyeth Progress Pre-School Gold at the AIM Conference Center in Makati City.

“Kids are never too young to help other people and give back to society. As teachers, we have to collaborate with kids and guide them to help start the change that children, no matter how young, can create,” said Peñaflorida. “Hayaan natin sila sa kung ano ang kanilang maitutulong, and let’s not hinder them from helping others.” Peñaflorida was named CNN Hero of the Year last year for his acclaimed “Pushcart Classroom” project, a volunteer program that provides less fortunate kids with access to non-formal education. This award-winning project has showed the world that any space can be a place of learning for children.

During the conference, Penaflorida showcased his project as an inspiring example of how young volunteers and teachers have become aware of the current social environment and how they work together to address the needs of the underprivileged sector. This, he said, is the first step to encouraging change. “Once kids become aware of what is happening around them, the more that they are empowered to do something and help start the change that the country needs. Today’s underprivileged kids have needs that go beyond hunger. Many are deprived of their basic need to play, and even more are deprived of education. And as teachers, we should understand these needs and help fill them.”

Other parenting experts and professionals from the academe also shared their insights on childhood education and development. Among them were Dr. Queena Lee-Chua of the Ateneo De Manila University, Ms. Maribel Sison-Dionisio and Prof. Cecilia Manikan. They presented simple and effective techniques that can help parents prepare their children to become competent and be agents of social change. They also inspired other educators on how to become agents of learning excellence in order to produce the best, world-class student graduates.

Rowie Matti, Efren Penaflorida, Maribel Sison-Dionisio, and Tintin Babao
during the panel discussion

Among the topics discussed during the two-day conference were The Next Wave: Creating Super Learners, Good Study Habits Towards School Success, Empowering a Child’s Mind by Maximizing the Whole Brain, Predictive Indicators to a Child’s Success, and Enrichment Programs Provide Children the Winning Edge.

“The seminar was enriching for parents and educators as it shared various ways of optimizing children’s learning potential,” says Rachel Tongson from Wyeth. “Through this, they become more equipped in preparing Filipino children to become empowered and productive individuals who can make significant contributions to their country in the future.”

“Education is key to any nation’s future. Galileo and Wyeth are devoted to the optimum development of children, so it was inspiring to see so many parents and educators raring to help build a community of young learners who will grow up to offer plenty to the global village,” adds Ma. Rowena Matti, CEO of the Galileo Enrichment Learning Program. The group also helps improve the English and Math skills of children 3 to 12 years through a program that requires parents’ engagement. Since it came to the country in 2006, it has been helping develop independent-thinking and confident learners.

Efren and Rowie Mattie

Organized by two of the most respected names in childhood development, Galileo Enrichment Learning Program and Wyeth Progress Pre-School Gold, the event enhanced the knowledge of parents and local child educators in empowering young learners, helping nurture a future generation of responsible, active and globally-competitive thinkers.

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