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Rekindling the Gifts of Learning and Teaching at the T.E.A.C.H Expo

More than 600 volunteers from all over Luzon and Metro Manila gathered for the Cornerstone Academy Teach Expo held in Singson Hall, Ateneo De Manila University last May 19.


With its theme “Rekindling the Gift of Learning and Teaching”, the volunteers were able to re-establish their posture towards Cornerstone and redefined their roles as teachers to the Cornerstone students, as well to the parents.


Tina Aligada-Halal, TEACH Core Member, gave Session 1: Rekindle the Gift. She reminded the volunteers to keep their Cornerstone stories in their hearts and to rekindle the fire that motivates them to persevere in their work. Halal emphasized that being part of the Cornerstone is a blessing, not just for the volunteers but for the whole community.


“We are in Cornerstone because we love the children. Of course, the willingness to help is always there, but it should be done out of love,” she said. She reminded the volunteers that Cornerstone is God’s gift to the community, and as volunteers they have to take good care of that gift in order to become gifts to others.


A series of workshops was then conducted in different venues within the Ateneo campus, among them: Funterest (on discovering different techniques on how to make tutorial sessions easy, fun and interesting), Prep Time (guidelines in making instructional materials and examples which the volunteers can replicate), YOU ROCK (Appreciating the KVF and its importance in bringing the kids closer to God.), Once Upon A Cornerstone (learning how to do creative storytelling and how to motivate the children to read), RnR (Repitition and Reinforcement) (the basics in applying Behavioral Management Techniques), CS App (exploring, encoding and updating the Cornerstone Management System), Read Street (understanding and evaluating the new Cornerstone Modules), and Touch Look and Listen (training volunteers on how to teach reading using Visual, Auditory, Tactile, and Kinesthetic strategies).


Session 2: Fulfill the Ministry was given by Fr. Benedict Lagarde, MJ. His session integrated inspiration and affirmation of the volunteers, challenging them to fulfill the mission God has entrusted to them.Fr. Lagarde reminded the participants that as mentors and teachers, they should always see the poor as partners, and not as recipients of their compassion in doing charity.

“One of the most liberating acts is when we arrive at the point when we consider the poor as equal partners in formation, in education, in all acts of liberation,” he said.


Moreover, he reminded the volunteers that it is when the poor continue to become recipients that they become passive receivers, and not active co-partners.

“No formation or education takes place unless there is an alliance of trust. Trust is not something that we impose on people, it is something we earn,” Fr. Lagarde added.


Fr. Lagarde celebrated the Mass after his session. In his homily, he reminded the volunteers that they are all instruments of the love of God and that in the end, “Napapansin mo na ginagamit ka ng Panginoon sa Kanyang misyon.”“The mission is not ours, it is the Lord’s mission and we are just participants,” Fr. Lagarde said.


He reiterated that the posture of the volunteers towards the mission is not just to be happy when doing it, but to remember that they are being sent by God. “H’wag kang pumunta doon dahil masaya, pumunta ka doon dahil ipinadala ka ng Panginoon,” he added.


Fr. Lagarde expressed gratitude to Cornerstone and ANCOP for their continuous support to the scholars in his parish.Testimonies were given by volunteers, students and parents about how Cornerstone has been an integral part of their lives. They shared how the program helped them cope with their respective roles and missions,and how Cornerstone continues to empower them— both as volunteers and recipients.


The T.E.A.C.H. Expo ended with the customary class picture, and the participants bringing with them the rekindled fire in responding to the mission of God. (Andrelene Veloso)

Added on Wednesday, June 13, 2018



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