New Garden Nursery constructed at A. Bonifacio Elementary School
A. Bonifacio E.S. has an enrolment of 1037 students and 30 teachers and many students who attend the school are malnourished. The school has a feeding program which motivates parents to enrol their children and see that they attend school regularly. The feeding program also improves the nutritional status of the children over time, alleviates short term hunger and improves cognitive functions and academic performance.
Agriculture teacher Romeo Sollano, has been a tower of strength for many years at Bonifacio through his leadership in the construction of extensive vegetable gardens, utilising them for learning in many subjects as well as agriculture. He has also played a significant role as a member of the Talomo District Health and Nutrition Technical Working Group.
An exciting new project has been established at the school this year, through the generous donation of the Rotary Club of Maitland.
The project involved the construction of a plant nursery to support the extensive vegetable gardens which ultimately subsidise the School Based Feeding Program. This project is part of a major academic practical activity and involves Grades Four, Five and Six pupils in their Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE), English, Filipino, Mathematics and Science. This project helps to demonstrate different scientific processes and systems, and develop gardening and thinking skills in pupils and also their parents.
The Principal of the school, Hazel Linaza, explained that parent involvement in the making of the garden nursery was most important and involved painting, masonry works and fabrication. This once again is a great example of the partnership which exists between the school, its parents and AFFLIP.
She went on to say that “the sustainability of the project for the future will be enhanced through parent collaboration in setting work schedules in the garden for monitoring and tilling the soil. The PTA (Parent Teachers Association) will also donate funds for the purchase of organic fertiliser, seedling trays, plant containers and other nursery needs.”
“The expected impacts of the garden nursery project are to increase the survival rate of vegetable plants and ornamental plants before being transplanted, increase the amount of harvest for feeding the undernourished children, and provide opportunities for pupils, teachers, parents/guardians to enhance their knowledge of gardening.”
A. Bonifacio Elementary School has also been the pilot school for the AFFLIP Outdoor Learning Environment Project (OLEP) which commenced several years ago, initially under the outstanding leadership of former Principal Ronald Mangmang. The school and community are fortunate to now have a dynamic leader in Hazel Linaza in this role.