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Unit 213 Valle Verde Terraces, Meralco Ave. cor. Gen.Segundo st., 1600 Pasig City, Philippines
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The Sta. Teresita Pre-School in Miarayon, Talakag, Bukidnon is the pilot project of the Cartwheel Foundation, Inc. It was born after an assessment made by Fr. Kit Bautista S.J. The Miarayon elders clearly indicated the pressing need to augment educational opportunities for children in this area.

Due to the absence of of schools for the children ages 3 to 6, it was clear that the youngest kids would benefit from a pre-school. It started in 1999 and at present has 90 students as beneficiaries.

a class in Sta.Teresita Pre-SchoolHISTORY
In April of 1999, three teachers, who were housewives and natives of Miarayon, traveled to Manila for a one-week training program at The Learning Child (TLC) School, Inc. All expenses for the trip and teacher training program were sponsored by the TLC Parents Association. During the week of their training program, the teachers observed nursery and kinder classes at TLC, underwent crash courses in the Stages of Child Development, learning styles, classroom management, and lesson planning. Preparation for the opening of classes continued in Miarayon from May to the last week of June 1999, when school started. A continuing supervision from Manila by Cartwheel members is done through monthly communication and regular visits to the area by the Cartwheel Project Coordinator based in Mindanao.


The registration of Sta. Teresita with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports as a non formal school is still being processed in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. For the first two years, the school was occupying the first floor of a two-storey structure intended as health center and the back portion of the community chapel. There are no doctors or nurses in the area, so the health center was availbale for the school use.

A two-classroom structure was constructed and blessed September 8, 2001 on the grounds of Sta. Teresita Parish, which is under the diocese of Malaybalay. Thanks to Starbucks Foundation, Starbucks Coffee Co., and Rustans Coffee, who gave the grant for this project, the two classrooms have been available for the kids SY 2001-2002.

The pre-school has two classes: Nursery (ages 3-4) and Kinder (ages 5-6). Total enrolment at the beginning of the school year 1999-2000 was 32. The Kinder class graduated 17 students in March 2000. These children have now moved on to PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and are now excelling among their peers at the primary level. The second batch of kinder students graduated in March 2001.

outside the classroomsSUBJECTS
Sta. Teresita Pre-School students are taught the basics of reading, writing and Math. The medium of instruction is a mixture of four languages: Binukid, Cebuano, Tagalog, and English. The teachers, to suit the Lumad culture and life in community, localize the curriculum and teaching. Tuition fee per month is at Php 25.00 per student. Children bring their own snacks to school.

Cartwheel and the Miarayon community have made an agreement that the sustainability of the school is only partly the foundation's responsibility. The parents of the students and other members of the community are now in the process of setting up a farmers cooperative to generate funds to maintain Sta. Teresita Pre-School. Cartwheel has committed to providing the school with financial assistance for at least five years in the form of teacher's salaries, educational materials, training expenses (travel, supervision, communication), and other administrative costs.

The school still requires furnishings like tables and chairs for the classrooms, books for the library, equipment for the playground, among others. Hence, fundraising by Cartwheel Creative Center is an ongoing process.


Based on a survey made , the number of children from ages 0-7 at Sitio San Abel is more than a hundred. All school aged kids do not attend school. There are no government plans as of yet to set up any school program in the area.

the makeshift structure of Sitio AbelHISTORY OF CONSTRUCTION
Cartwheel has decided to undertake the construction of a branch of the existing Pre-School at the Miarayon centro. A makeshift pre-school was then built with the help of the leaders and parents of the children in the area. Labor and wood were supplied by the community, the cost of nails, roofing, etc. were supplied by Cartwheel. One of the community elders decided to donate one hectare of his land for the school site. He said that this will be his contribution for his grandchildren.

The operations of the pre-school started in June 2001.The pre-school teachers at the Sta. Teresita Pre-School are willing to hold afternoon classes in this site which is thirty minutes away from the centro. Classes are daily from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. The beneficiaries of this Nursery class numbers up to 30 students.

Cartwheel does not believe in dole outs and simultaneously develops plans and projects for self-sustainability with the communities it serves. For this project, parents are asked to pay tuition fees of Php 25.00 per month per child.

At present, the needs of the community are:
+ a Pre-School building (volunteers, construction materials, furnishings),
+ a community library (furnishings, books and magazines, maps and charts, globe, etc.)
+ teacher training (volunteers, books and teaching journals, etc.), and
+ educational materials, books, supplies, etc.