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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!.

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.

A Black and White Affair – 28th Recognition Day

March 27, 2015 was a Black and White Affair day commemorating the 28th Recognition Day of Stepping Stone. Parents, Students, Teachers and even Interns and office staff came dressed in black or white or a combination thereof.

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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. 

Stepping Stone Learning Center: From Dream School to Reality (Christmas Party 2014)

Every year, Stepping Stone Learning Center organizes a Christmas Party for their special needs students, parent and faculty. This year’s however, was pretty special, a red letter day that gave everyone an adrenaline rush. The reason for the excitement was not the occasion but the venue- the was held at the school’s new home Sta. Rita Village, Sucat, Parañaque City last December 19, 2014.

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