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Family Day 2018

Family day is an event that is intended to allow loved ones to take a break from their daily lives and spend quality time together. Here in Stepping Stone . Know that family day will have a great impact on our students’ improvement in all aspects of learning. Of course, our family were the ones who first taught us how to read, write and count. Not just that, they also showed us how to love and express kindness to everyone.

Center for Excellence in Special Education (Stepping Stone) Foundation Inc. Makati, observed its first Family Day celebration last September 21, 2018. All of the parents expressed so much happiness and excitement when we announced this event. We made this event special by requesting Nuestra Senora de Gracia – Guadalupe Viejo to use their place for fun outdoor games and activities. It is located around vicinity, so it was very convenient for all the families here.

The teachers worked hard in the preparation of this Family Fun Day event. Teachers Hannah, Irish, Lia, March and Sherry conceptualize the program to make it more fun and exciting for the whole family. They also made some cute and glittery photobooths props that says “Number 1 DAD, Super MOM, #1 Brother and Sister, Happy Family.” We, teachers, are part of the family too and we believed that this event created splendid memories for all the families here at Stepping Stone.

The Family Fun Day started with photobooth picture taking where they pose nicely and used our photobooth props. It was so heartwarming to see that most of the families who attended brought all their family members to enjoy. Our photographers University of Makati (UMAK) Psychology interns could not help but smile widely as they took pictures of each family.

After posing like a models in our Happy Family Photobooth, we gathered the students at the Teen-Adult classroom to officially start the program. To get everyone ready and more excited, we did some warm-up dances. All of the family members danced just how their kids danced here at school during circle time. Indeed, dancing gets really better when you enjoy it with your family. How about creating some arts and crafts with the whole family? Of course, it was a grand masterpiece! Different colors of poster paints, paintbrushes and a small canvas were prepared for them. Now they just have to help each other to paint and make a masterpiece that tells about their family on how they love and care for each other. Everyone worked hard and presented quite a striking work of art that you can achieve when you work together with your family.

Everybody was anticipating the outdoor games and activities. We asked each family to bring their own picnic mats so they can enjoy the outdoor activities with their families just like having a picnic day out.

Each family were formed into three (3) teams, Team A, Team B and Team C and we asked them to make a cheering and dance introduction for their respective teams so they can also bond and enjoy with other families. Each team showed creativity in entertaining, cheering and dance introductions that made it more exciting. They also participated in our mini fashion show, introducing each family like a model. They walked, waved and smiled like a real model.

When family plays together, they will have a good memories that will last forever. We called the first game “Blow the Cup”. The goal of this game was to blow the cup until the end of the line, the first one who finished will be the winner. All of the parents encouraged their kids and helped them to win the game. Everyone did their best in winning and also cheering for their teams. You can see the delighted faces while playing the games. Of course, in every game there has to be a winner and for this game, Team A won. The other teams got more eager to do their best for all the games.

For the next game, we called it “S.T.I (Sa Tabini Inay / Itay).” In English language it translates, “Beside Your Mom / Dad.” We gave them enough length of rope, asked them to tie the parents’ right leg to his / her child’s left leg. The mechanics of this game was to walk together and go around the cone until they get back to their team’s waiting line. Some parents were very eager to participate in this game even if their child did not want to join. Truly, our parents know best. They made a way by carrying their child but still tied with a rope. Each player walked as fast as they could to reach the goal. Some also gave tips to their child by saying “left, right, left, right” to them walk fast together. For this game, Team C did well and won the game.

Teachers prepared a special game for our students’ exposure. They played “sack race”, Early Intervention edition (EI) and Functional Academics (FA) and Teen-Adult (TA) class edition. For the EI students, we cut the end of the sack so they could wear it and walk instead of jumping. They needed to pass around the cone and get back to the team’s waiting line. Every parent excitedly cheered for their kids and also helped them to win the said game. For the FA and TA edition, we made sure that they will play the sack race carefully. The teachers and parents also guided and applauded them while they did the race. All of our kids received prizes as they did well in participating the games.

For the last game, we called it “PasahanTubig.” They have to throw a balloon that was filled with water to the other team’s representative. Their goal was to catch it and not let it slip from their hands. It is really fun to see how the family team up to win a game especially the parents. They were all very competitive. Splashed! Some balloons fell and popped on the ground. Our students really liked this part. They really like the feeling of flowing water. Let us not forget the teachers who also participated this game. The parents and kids cheered for the teachers. It was so exciting and thrilling to be a part and also enjoy the games that we planned for our families. We, the teachers, felt that we really belong to this big family.

What is the point of winning a game if you do not have rewards? That is why we made sure to give out small prizes for all the families who participated. We also made a special award for families who were really extra during the event. For the “Buwis-Buhay Award” winners, we picked the mother of Sao Paulo Brazal and Brianne Bucao of Early Intervention class, Mrs. Brazal and Mrs. Bucao. They worked extra hard to make their child participate in each game even if their child did not want to join. Good job, Mommies! We also had the “Coolest Parent Award.” This is for the parents who looked very cool even if some games took a lot of sweat to accomplish. The winners were, Mrs. Alcantara, mother of Ismael Calimag from Teen Adult class and Mr. Nacino, father of Wyn Nacino from Early Intervention class. For this award, we really thought of a creative and catchy name, we called it “BBSS Award” and it stands for “Believe na Believe sa Sarili.” If you believe you can make it, you really can make it possible. That’s what these parents believed as they played each competitive game. The mother of Sophia Rey from Functional Academics, Mrs. Rey and Maverick Pacit’s mother, Mrs. Pacit won the said award. They believed and they got a special award.

Remember how they walked, waved and smiled for everyone like a model for the mini fashion show? We also prepared a special award for that, it was called “Supermodel Award.” Every family who joined the event were all supermodels but we chose those who went the extra mile while doing the fashion show. Click, flash, pose! Dacuno Family and Sison Family were the chosen supermodel winners for this award.

The family that eats together, gets healthy together. Let us not forget this gathering without filling up our hungry stomach from all the Family Fun days’ activities and games. For sure, the happy memories that were shared today filled up our hearts and made our relationship with our families stronger. It proved that family is our key to happiness. This Family Fun day event showed that we are all one Big Happy Family here at Stepping Stone.

Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa "Filipino: Wika ng Saliksik"

Every year we celebrate “Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa” or “Month of National Language” with the theme “Filipino: Wika ng Saliksik” or"Language of Research". This is the day when we commemorate our national language and express our feelings in different ways such as dancing, singing, games and speech choir.

We celebrated Buwan ng Wika last 24 of August, 2018 Friday at the Stepping Stone Makati school premises. The program started with a beautiful prayer led by Eunice of Early Intervention class with the prayer song named “The Salvation Poem” in tagalog version. Eunice made it sacredly beautiful as she sang and acted out the song wonderfully. 

The prayer was followed by the entrance of our Philippine Flag with students of Functional Academics Mav, Kravin and NathanNathanbrought the flag, followed by Kravin and Mav and stood as model officers of their fellow students. 

The National anthem was conducted by Chona of Teen Adult Class with her grace in managing to handle the song until the end. As the program continued, everybody was so excited to see their children’s talent and wanted to record the student’s performance as the UMAK Psychology interns were advised to capture all the wonderful moments of the event.

To proceed with the program itself, every class prepared a presentation and wore their best Filipiniana costumes as they showed their best performances.  Early Intervention presented a folk dance to the tune of “Magtanim ay di Biro” with their energetic students Chester, Sao, Brianne, Liam, Xia, Eunice, Elaisia, King and Ryan. It was an exceptional production led by Teacher March and Teacher Sherry. All students swayed and brought out the best moves they got.  

Meanwhile, Functional Academics performed a dance from the song of “Polka sa Nayon” which included Lorraine, Sophia, Kravin, Mav, Duke, JB, Nathan and Zuri. After an enthusiastic dance number, Duke, Kravin and Nathan prepared a speech. The audience listened diligently and applauded in appreciation for their performance. It was indeed a great show.

The program continued with the Teen-Adult Class not wanting to be left behind, presenting their best performance,  dancing to the tune of “Pinoy Ako, Pinoy Tayo” using orange and lemons as props. Teachers Lia and Routche danced with them and had a quick group photo with wacky faces. Very hilarious indeed and so much fun.

On the first part of the program, everyone joined in a group song holding each other’s hand and singing “Tagumpay Nating Lahat” a song byLea Salonga. The meaning behind the song is that “Together we can make a difference, be successful”. Songs are the language of love no matter what dialect we speak.

The second part of the program was held at the Early Intervention Classroom. The program featured Filipino games starting with the“Sipa”.  Sipa is the national game of Philippines where one uses their foot to kick a soft ball made out of rattan fragment, back & forth on a net in the middle of the court. Kravin won the game while others were given consolation prices for the efforts.

The second game was the “Sack Race”. The group were divided into three (3) depending on their age and height. Each group played two (2) games. A total of three (3) major prizes and three (3) consolation prizes were awarded. 

The last two games “Pabitin” and “Pinata” had to be played at the lobby to allow for more space. After this, the kids played the “Pinata” where one has to sit down and wait for their name to be called to choose a string to open the Pinata. It was Kravin’s lucky day as he pulled open thePinata full of goodies.

As if this was not enough, a final game called the “Pahagis ng Kendi” or “Throwing of Candies” put a huge smile on everyone’s face.

After the song, dance and games, everyone proceeded to the Functional Academic Classroom to have their lunch. Teachers and parents prepared a sumptuous lunch of Pansit, Longaniza, Buko Pandan, Crema de Fruta, Spaghetti, Pichi-pichi, Adobo, Roast Chicken and many more.

The program ended by honouring our National Language.

Christmas Around the World

The most awaited event of the year at Stepping Stone is its’ Annual Christmas Party. Both schools, Makati and Sucat join to celebrate this joyful day of the year at the Sucat campus.

 

This years’ theme, “Christmas Around the World” challenged the parents and students to dress up in different nation’s costumes. 

 

The program kicked off with parents, students, guests and even teachers lining up at the Photo Booth set up to take pictures with cool props and small signs.

 

A trio of mascots, Santa Claus, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey Mouse also entertained the crowd with their appearances and their dance numbers. Their casual mingling with the crowd was a big hit among the attendees.

 

The National Anthem was lead by student Paul Joshua of the Teen Adult Class from Makati while the doxology was lead by student Anna Margareth of Teen Adult class from Sucat.

 

Chairman & President Mundy Gonzalez delivered his opening remarks and Executive Director Dayal Nandwanipresented to the group the Housekeeping graduates from several batches.

 

Some Stepping Stone parents presented a hip-hop dance number during the intermission. It was breath taking as the dance moves included tumbling which wowed the crowd.

 

Each class level prepared and presented a number to the delight of the parents and guests. A dance number about Christmas fairies were performed by Early Intervention students while the Functional Academics class danced with huge gifts and a candy cane.

 

Teen Adults class performed a dance number about Christ’s birth, and joint effort by both Teen Adult class and Functional Academics class performed a special dance number choreograph with lots of dedication and passion by Ms. Julie Plummer to the tune of  “Awitin mo at Isasayaw ko”.

 

Apart from presentations of song and dance numbers and  mascots, there was lots of food from sponsors Inengs Barbeque, Siopao from Joe Kuan, Pizza from Shakeys, Fried Lumpia, and Spaghetti from Rue Borbon, and of course the favorite of everyone,  Jollibee Chicken Joy. There were also raffle prizes and awards.

 

Raffle prizes were Teddy Bears, Hello Kitty coin bankCookies and Water Filters as minor prizes while major prizes were Platinum Karaoke’s.

 

Students Yousef from Early Intervention class Sucat won the best costume as he came in as a Syrian Prince.

 

It was quite a Christmas Celebration with parents  and students enjoying with so much fun and laughter and receiving so many gifts.

 

The Christmas Spirit was definitely in the air that day and even the weather cooperated to make this years’ “Christmas Around the World” truly a joyous and happy one.

Educational Field Trip 2018

Stepping Stone believes that education is the best foundation for a better future and we believe that Education is not confined within the four walls of the classrooms. This is why every year, we like to expose our students to different areas that would give them opportunities to discover and learn new things with classmates and parents.

It was totally a good opportunity also for bonding and friendship with all parents and guardians. We invited all the students to join the wonderful learning experience during the fieldtrip held last March 16, 2018 Friday. We had something exciting that day to remember as it was only one week before the Recognition Day and end of the school year.

Everyone gathered at Stepping Stone Makati for departure at exactly 7:40 a.m. Two (2) coasters, courtesy of Makati Social Welfare Department of the City of Makati, left the school and arrived at our first itenerary, the MMDA Road Safety Park. The park is situated right across Manila Zoo. It was actually a Children’s Playground before the City of Manila entrusted it to the MMDA. It is open for free everyday, except Wednesdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

When we got there, the staff let us in and we headed straight to the holding area where we let our students sit on chairs and listened to the orientation about the Park and the different road signs. With the help of a female tour guide, we were able to see road signs everywhere as we went up close and personal to each one. There was a lone intersection with stoplights, many pedestrian lanes for crossing the streets, small “establishments” in the park, perfect for talking about what you find in the city and the signs that go along with them.There was a gas station, a church, a restaurant, and a hospital. There was also a waiting shed, a cool pedestrian tunnel were everyone experienced walking under, a bike lane, and a miniature example of a train track.

Everyone was so happy to have discovered the MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park as it provided our students fun, interactive, and experiential learnings. We encourage everyone to visit the park for your kids to learn about city street signs and road safety.

If you encounter a traffic sign in a book, go explore the park and make the concepts in the book jump out of the pages. On our way home, we checked the roads for signs that we learned at the Park. We then noticed and realized that there were a lot of road signs, such as the H for hospital and the no honking sign which means there is either a church or school nearby.

Where learning begins and fun never ends, that’s the tag line offered by Museo Pambata which was our second stop after visiting the Park. We headed straight to Roxas Boulevard where the museum is located. Though it was a bit hot and sunny that day, it did not stop us from being energized and made our students even more excited.

Learning a great deal about the world is not and should not be confined to textbooks, photos, videos, websites, documentaries, and other media. In fact, most of what we truly learn comes from our experiences and interaction with the real world. We would have a better understanding of the concepts we encounter in textbooks, teacher’s lectures, educational TV shows, and other media if we have a glimpse of or if we experience the outside world.

Furthermore, it is enormously more fun to actually see, feel, smell, and truly experience something than just having to see read or hear about it. And we all know that if something is fun, you are more interested to learn. That is why the school decided to choose Museo Pambata as every student will both enjoy and learn.

After a half an hour or so of travel from Park, we finally arrived at the Museo Pambata along Roxas Boulevard. Museo Pambata’s façade was pretty cool sporting a classic Spanish inspired building in the midst of an ultramodern community. Large colorful banners outside entice children welcomed everyone to visit the museum to play, discover, explore, and learn.

By the time we got there, there were plenty of students from other schools having a tour already. When we arrived inside, the Museum staff briefly gathered us and the children and gave us a short history and rules of the museum. The exhibit features a very nice activity area where children can read, write, draw, and play. The Museo Pambata had a hands-on exhibit that children can see, touch, hear, and experience as well. It is truly an interactive museum, one that also functions as a playground, art center, and library. It makes learning, exploration, and discovery more fun.

First, we went to the Kalikasan Exhibit, a simulated coastal area and rainforest. The exhibit showcases the beauty of Mother Nature, inspiring children to take action to protect her. The coastal area was our first stop. Upon entering, it seemed like we were actually underwater. There were huge sculptures of jellyfish, kelps, dolphins, and other sea creatures like shells and marine mollusks were the jewels of the sea.

As a second stop, we explored an area called Creepy Crawlers. As you guessed it, the area displays spiders, insects, worms, and other organisms that make your skin itch and crawl. Of course, none were alive; all were just sculptures. There were colossal red ants marching down the museum’s walls too!

We then visited a large section of exhibit and displays of the typical life in the mountains, far away provinces, and rural areas in the Philippines. The museum has a nice simulated rice paddy that explains how farming in the Philippines is done. Back in the main building we visited another exhibit that took us to a journey back in time, hundreds of years past. The exhibit features what Manila was like during the early 15th to the mid 19th century. Upon entering, the Old Manila Exhibit , we saw large illuminated posters of our national heroes. Another highlight of the Old Manila Exhibit was this huge replica of a Spanish-Era Cathedral. By the looks of it, it was a replica of the exalted Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, popularly known as the Quiapo Church. The interior of the Quiapo Church replica features a beautifully rendered altar that displays various religious figures that faithful Roman Catholic Filipinos worship.

Yet another highlight of the exhibit was the wooden tram. It was a replica of one of Meralco’s Tranvia, the country’s first electric railway that started operating in 1905. There was also the famous La Puerta del Sol, the country’s first and only department store during that time. The Museo Pambata built a replica of a classic Bahay na Bato (house of stone). The Bahay na Bato is a typical residence of the upper and middle-class families during the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the most iconic features of the Bahay na Bato is its wood-framed sliding windows that are adorned with translucent capiz shells. Students were able to climb up the second floor and have their souvenir pictures taken.

After that, we went to Pamilihang Bayan, a proliferation of modern and convenient air-conditioned malls and grocery stores. Museo Pambata goal for this area is to re-integrate children to the concept of traditional shopping and the dynamics of a classic Filipino neighborhood. All over the place were small stores that “sell” various goods that are typically found in open-air markets and neighborhood stores. Our students had fun taking the role of shopkeepers, which someday may spark their entrepreneurial interests.

There was even a friendly Fire Station too, complete wih a fire truck and firemen’s uniforms where students got to ride on. Along the way, we found expertly done paintings made by some of the Philippines’ best artists. Most of the paintings depict everyday activities of the Filipino child. There was a young booklover’s favorite place! The second floor of the museum had a lovely, colorful
library filled with interesting books with a built-in children’s slide inside.

The My Body Works Exhibit allows children to discover the human body with the use of a tunnel maze. The exhibit aims to explain to children how body organs work and how to keep the body healthy and it all starts with the mouth. So, upon entering the exhibit, visitors can see the giant esophagus, which act as a playtunnel for kids. The exhibit features giant models of the human organs, all interactive with information boards. You can even listen to your friend’sheartbeat, discover the sounds that certain body parts make, know how the heart works, feel objects without seeing them, and many others.

After we saw all the interactive diplays and exhibits in the museum, students, guardians, teachers andeveryone gathered and had time to take some group pictures. Then, we went back to our respective coasters and received Jollibee as free lunch. Though everyone seemed tired, we were so happy and had a great time inside the museum. After taking lunch inside the coasters, we left the museum and eventually traveled back to school in Makati.

Thank you, Museo Pambata! Our almost 2-hour stay in the interactive museum was truly enjoyable, and all the Stepping Stone students definitely learned a lot. It was indeed a day to remember. Of course, everything was made possible because of the hard work of the schools Board of Trustees, all the teachers and staff and the generosity of our sponsors. With the cooperation, usual support and diligence of everyone, especially the families and parents of our students, it was truly a successful and memorable field trip!.

Community Integration: Encompassing Full Participation in the Community/Environment

 

The Functional Academics (FA)  and Teen Adult (TA) students of Stepping Stone Makati enjoyed the first day of December by having a community integration activity by going to the Powerplant mall to watch a movie, buying their own movie snacks and movie tickets and exploring  interesting places and things inside the mall.

We started off our activity by giving them guidelines and briefing them about what to do and expect once we got to the mall. The teachers, Lea, Hannah, Angel and Sofia all checked each student and the important things that they need to bring such as Persons with Disability  (PWD) Cards  and enough money.

After gathering all the students, we waited for a jeepney outside the school to get us to the Powerplant mall. All the students took out their 7.00 pesos to pay and learned how to pass the fare on to the jeepney driver. It was a quick ride from school to the Powerplant mall. Everyone looked very excited as we made our way inside the mall.

Our first itinerary was to buy the movie tickets. We made the students walk with a partner as we roamed the hallways of the mall knowing exactly where we planned to go. 

Our students fell in line to buy their tickets and prepared their important identification cards and money to present it to cashier. The parents, Mommy Cristyliza, Mommy Kelly and Mommy Cherrie) who also joined us during the activity looked proud and happy to see their kids buying their own movie tickets. They took a lot of pictures and supported their kids and the teachers throughout the activity.

After getting our tickets we we needed to get some snacks to eat inside the movie theater while watching. We led the students to Rustan’s Marketplace, Powerplant mall’s supermarket, to purchase their snacks and drinks. We made them list their favorite snacks, so it would be easy to find what they needed to buy from the supermarket. Most of them got hungry while roaming around the Marketplace supermarket but they managed to finish the activity and paid at the counter for their snacks and drinks.

After buying their groceries, we had our lunch in Jollibee and all of them excitedly ate Chicken Joy, Fries and Spaghetti. They finished their Jollibee meal with a bright beam and satisfied faces.

It was now movie time! Disney Pixar released a new movie named “Coco.” It is about a boy who dreams to be a famous singer, but his family doesn’t want him to pursue his dream as they believe that it is a curse to have a musician in their family. 

Everyone looked forward to entering the movie house.  Students found their respective places in between teachers and relaxed while waiting for the movie.  Everyone was well behaved during the movie althoufg you could see different reactions from their faces. 

This outdoor activity was filled with so much fun and lots of learning and the teachers got to see and observe the students on how they participate in a community integrated activity and how they managed to solve some problems outside the home and school.  

We look forward to more community integration activities in the near future.