Food for the Soul

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This Saturday was spent in Bagong Nayon IV Elementary School with talented kids from all over Antipolo. I was hired along with 3 other TFP Fellows to design and facilitate a personality development module for Child Health Promoters. I was excited, but also absolutely terrified because I haven’t handled children since I left the classroom in 2015.

The Child Health Promoter Training is a program under the Kids Shine Project by Save the Children and the Wrigley Company foundation. Its goal is to improve children’s oral health through school health and nutrition programs by involving children in its promotion and implementation. The Child Health Promoters (CHPs) facilitate and support child-led activities, under the guidance of the clinic teacher and the school principal in the hopes of inspiring positive behavioral changes towards [oral] health and hygiene.

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46 children ages 8-13 attended the training camp. The nerves went away as soon as I greeted them good morning. Teaching them about presenting to an audience did not prove difficult because I was able to share some of the same techniques I teach in my day job. I was also able to bring in some of the things I learned after a year of being a corporate trainer. In a way, participating in this activity also made me realize how much more I can give back since my current job has exposed/exposes me to different disciplines that can also be applied in the school setting.

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Teacher Danna and I teamed up for this session. It was the first time for us to work together despite both of us being alumnae of the Teach for the Philippines Fellowship program. She filled in for Teacher Mel who couldn’t make it due to a personal emergency. We literally planned our approach at the last minute (or hour): on the car ride to Antipolo. I was afraid we’d have a hard time due to lack of preparation, but we were even able to come up with additional activities to make the training more effective. #yay

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I guess you can never really unlearn being a teacher. It was such a joy to watch them learn and have fun at the same time. I didn’t mind having to make fun of myself to prove a point either. It was so satisfying to be able to be playful and go all out for the discussion without second-guessing myself. Everything just came out naturally. I hope they enjoyed themselves as much as I did.

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Looking forward to more passion projects like this one! It’s always a good idea to find time to do the things you love :)

Photographs by Nicco, posted with parental consent

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