Alabang Reading Room Opens
by: Angie Driskell
Last August 1, Angie Driskell (HAPI Jr. Ambassador) and Jhing Dedicatoria (HAPI Alabang Assistant Lead Convener) met with the management of the unit that was then secured for the Alabang Reading Room to finalize its occupancy with a contract signing. In the first call for donations and support for the room, books and other household item were received. The cash donations received went towards the painting of the interior and front of the room. It was only after the Enhanced Community Quarantine that more time was spent on cleaning and preparing the room for the children for HAPI Kids – Alabang. The room was later visited by the Executive Council and all the Alabang volunteers on September 19, 2021.
Slowly and steadily, the room became more conducive as a sharing and learning space. On October 2, the Alabang Reading Room had its official dry-run. Angie and Jhing were joined by the youth volunteers of HAPI Alabang, as well as student volunteers from The Korean International School Philippines. Together, they potted outdoor plants and installed the linoleum flooring of the room. The student volunteers had also spent the morning packing snack packs that will be used in future events.
During the dry-run, ten children were brought to the room to spend 30 minutes learning about manners and how to play nicely with others. They colored their handouts and were then given snacks to take home. The purpose of the dry-run was to find the most efficient way to usher the children to and from their homes, get feedback from the children about the room itself, and give them an idea as to how future sessions will be conducted.
The Alabang Reading Room was pursued in order to provide the children with a safe, quiet, and clean space that will allow them to participate in activities and learning sessions without the worry of bad weather or outdoor noise disrupting their sessions. It also provides a more comfortable venue for them to eat during the monthly feedings, making it easier to enforce social distancing. Educational activities which focus on the core beliefs of humanism will be conducted, at the very least, twice a month until the end of the year.
We are very grateful for the help from everyone who donated and participated in setting the room up over the past few months. We hope to complete the beautification of the front of the room by December of this year. We are still in need of financial help to maintain the room’s monthly expenses and we also need more books. If you would like to help us with this project, you may reach out to us.