Childlink set to mark 25th year of founding

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AS CHILDLINK Learning Center and High School is set to commemorate its 25th anniversary next year, the school looks back on its achievements over the years.

The school has been able to make a mark not only on its students but also on their families and the communities.

“We were able to serve families as well as communities. We also contributed to the arts. We had 21 (art) presentations so far, not only to perform but to tell the community about the services and advocacies we also have as a school,” said Childlink founder and school directress Maria Theresa Tio.

Tio also noted that the school has been able to give excellent education to students who attended Childlink for the past 24 years.

Values formation

Aside from providing excellent education, the school also focused on values formation for their students.

“When we started the school, we really focused on values, although we were not yet identified as School of Character,” Tio said. “The academic formation comes secondary to the values formation of the students as values formation is the priority.”

Tio explained that developing the learner’s sense of responsibility and discipline promotes good study habits, thus making them good students in the long run.

“This was proven during the pandemic. We realized that because of the many values imparted to students before the pandemic, they became successful in online learning. Also, our alumni have shared with us that the values they learned in Childlink helped them cope with the growing responsibilities and challenges that they face in their mature years,” Tio said.

The Childlink founder added: “They learn to be caring individuals because every year our students are exposed to various school service and community service activities such reading with a child, serving food to children recipients, lecturing in front of children which allows the Linkers to broaden their understanding of their community and allow them to apply their knowledge outside the confines of the school.”

Before the pandemic, Childlink students were involved in the school’s advocacies — gender equality, environmental preservation, anti-bullying, anti-cyberbullying and anti-teenage pregnancy.

When Linkers leave the school to pursue higher education, they bring with them the concept of family in a broader sense. For them, they get the support of a bigger family, which comprises the school and the community.

“Students share that with their years of being a Linker, they are confident that there will be people who will support them, cheer for them and root for them in their undertakings. That is why when the students leave Childlink for college, they look back and treasure the friendship they have had with their schoolmates and other significant persons they have met in school,” Tio said.

The friendships among Childlink students are developed as they get involved in the many advocacies of the school, when they learn the importance of helping those in need.

Childlink advocacies

In spite of the pandemic, Childlink continues to implement its advocacies — the school encourages students to donate toys and other stuff for the less fortunate children.

The school also comes up with videos on its various advocacies made with inputs from students and it then urges students to share these videos with their family and friends to promote awareness.

Among Childlink’s advocacies, the school sustained the Reading Advocacy through the years.

For many years, they tied up with the Cebu City Public Library to conduct reading sessions for children.

“We were working with the public library to make our reading module for the reading project because the target beneficiaries do not have the same level of competency as our students. The goal is to let children beneficiaries read even three letter words,” Tio said.

Another reading advocacy project was with a French nongovernment organization called Enfants du Mekong that is working with children living near the Inayawan dumpsite.

“We first taught the day care teachers the technique on how to teach reading to students. We gave them the module to assist them in the implementation. The project had some degree of success as children had learned how to read,” Tio said.

Reading’s importance

Tio stressed the importance of promoting reading among children, especially in preschool-aged children (four to five years old).

She believes that if children in preschool age are exposed to reading early, they will improve in the area of communication, comprehension and self-expression. By learning English at an early age, children will have a good foundation on communication skills using the foreign language.

And as the school will soon start a yearlong commemoration for its 25th anniversary, Childlink’s founder expressed hope that the community will also recognize their achievements and put their trust in the school.

“It is not easy to prove yourself against the schools that have been there before us. We have been able to establish our brand as a School of Character and excellence in education because when you are a school of character, everything else will follow,” Tio said.

She added that the child will be molded to become a better person with the values taught at home strengthened by the school.

“The school (Childlink) makes an effort to become the partner of the parents in molding their children through our modules for character development taught in every grade level,” Tio said.

Yearlong activities

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Childlink has lined up several activities.

These include the virtual get-together of the first Linkers way back in 1997; highlight achievements of Linkers through writeups and testimonies; partnership with an organization in the community for webinars and live sessions; and virtual awarding ceremony for Childlink partners and service award for employees of 25 years.

The virtual awarding is tentatively scheduled in May 2022.

Meanwhile, parents are urged to enrol their children as soon as possible since classes for school year 2021-2022 will start on July 19.

To know more about Childlink, School of Character, please call the office of Guidance Services and look for Teacher Auda at 415-2963 or 09176236767. Office hours are from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday and on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. until noon.