An Improved Environment
by Ludy Laud Reyno
(San Manuel, Isabela, Philippines)
It was 2008 when I was assigned in Mananao Elementary School, District I, San Manuel, Isabela, Philippines as a school principal. With modesty aside, I described this school "bare." No trees. No plants. No beautification. Three classrooms were built and used by the combination classes of grades I-VI.
Being a School Head, I thought of possible programs and projects to improve the academic level of the children. While making the plans, one that struck most in my mind was to beautify the place, which would eventually motivate children to come to school daily. I tapped the help of my co-teachers, the Homeroom PTA, and and other villagers to fix the school surroundings.
We agreed to get seedlings of trees at the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO). Another source of seedlings was the School Nursery of San Manuel Central School (same town) with the Agriculture teacher, Mr. Noel Alamani. With the help of the populace, we planted the seedlings, built tree guards and took care of the plants.
The trees grew robustly. The school ground became shady. Parents were motivated to sow more seeds of different plants. It became a trend of action to raise plants not only at school but most especially in their homes. From these scenarios, pupils were already coming to school daily, a fact that they were engrossed in their learning.
Today, none of the corners of our school is bare. Flowering plants are around. A school nursery was built and used as a propagation station of varieties of vegetables, ornamentals and trees. The latest was the banana plantation where thousands of fruits are being harvested.
Planting modifies the place. Planting beautifies a surrounding. Planting is a source of living.