Back in 2012, I was a pre-school teacher at the International School Manila. My students and I engaged in a simple crayon drive for the children of Miarayon, a community of tribal minorities under the province of Bukidnon. My students were tasked to collect old crayons, scratch papers and writing materials to donate to this school that had so little. I was so moved by the utter lack of materials in the classroom. This is when I began to dream, a dream to someday fill a public school classroom in the poorest communities of the Philippines with materials. Teaching tools that will help unlock the world of DISCOVERY for Filipino children and to assist and EMPOWER teachers to teach in an enjoyable, dynamic and productive manner through songs and games.

From the magnanimous support of generous individuals, this dream has been transformed from the aspiration of what it once was to a reality of what it is today.

Tisha Gonzalez-Cruz
Tisha Gonzalez-Cruz

In just a few years, we have been able to donate materials to communities that need it most. We’ve donated to Efren Peñaflorida’s Kariton Klasrum in Cavite City, AHA Learning Center in Makati – a free tutorial center for children living in the cemeteries along Kalayaan Avenue, GreenEarth Heritage Foundation in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains, an indigenous community in the remote mountains of San Ysiro Antipolo, Casili Elementary School in Rizal, Center of Hope in Payatas, 2 Daycare Centers in Laguna, F. Benitez Elementary School and all the Assumption Transformative Schools.

I believe that this passion and drive to help and the hopes to make a difference stems from each Filipino child in the poorest communities. Learning to read and eventually reading to learn will give them a good start and a chance for a better future.

Together let us build a nation of readers through empowered teachers.