Gulayan sa Puluy-anan
University of St. La Salle – Bacolod
“Malnutrition is one of the key problems that we’re facing now. BLT Pupils often go to school hungry. Being unable to eat breakfast and dinner at home, they would just rely on the free lunch feeding at school. We want to stop it by educating our BLT parents on the importance of having a vegetable garden in their own backyards. In this way, I believe, we can lessen the impact of Malnutrition” said Elvie Aligabo, BLT feeding coordinator of Lamesa Elementary School.
Having a garden in our own backyards is a good way to lessen the impact of malnutrition and one school here in Negros Occidental does just that. The school was able to encourage BLT parents to put up their own vegetable garden at home or what they call the Gulayansa Puluy-anan.
The Gulayan sa Puluy-anan is a project of the BLT team of La Mesa Elementary School in DepEd Division of San Carlos City which is headed by its school principal, Ms. Jovita Guantero. The main objective of this project is to provide BLT families a source of organic and nutritious vegetables and fruits which they can sell and even use to feed their children at home.
Through this program, the BLT families can earn money by selling their extra produce to the school or even to the market. This way, we can also assure that the food that we serve is nutritious and free from chemicals.
Gulayan sa Puluy-anan is also a big help in sustaining parent involvement and participation.
The BLT team provides the seeds from San Carlos City Department of Agriculture. The first program evaluation was conducted last November 26, 2014 by the BLT team. They target to conduct the final evaluation in March. Winning or commendable BLT parent/s will receive grocery items and certification from the school.
Aside from the Gulayan sa Puluy-anan, some of the best practices of the school are the following—productive BLT/School garden, accurate reporting, updated BLT corner and transparency board, pro-active BLT team and cooperative BLT parents.
La Mesa Elementary School is one of the 122 recipient schools of the Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) school feeding program facilitated by Institute for Negros Development of University of St. La Salle. The feeding program is on its way to end the 120-day feeding cycle.
With Mercedes Central School (MCS) of Zamboanga City now on its second year in BLT, it faces the same problem which is perennial to almost all feeding programs, be it local or national – declining parents’ participation.
From the local term “madre” which means mother, the MCS BLT implementers together with its local implementing partner, the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, organized the mothers thru the Madrepreneur Project to engage in a small scale food-based enterprise which is built on their current skills and capacities. It aims to address two things – sustaining parents’ participation in the program and capacitating women to help in the economic condition of their families.
The continuous support and active involvement of the parents has been critical in the overall success of the program. But as the implementation progresses towards the end of school year, it has been noticed that fewer mothers are performing their daily roles and responsibilities in the program. To address this concern, the MCS BLT implementers organized the Madrepreneur to motivate them to come and help in the daily feeding tasks.
After the hustle and bustle of preparing for the lunch of the BLT kids, the parents would again gather to start with the production of the gulucinas or native delicacies for snacks. With the small start-up capital contributed by each member, the parents would prepare local delicacies such as saging rebusao, madoya, ginataan mais, bayo-bayo and the like. These products are being sold at the school canteen where pupils and teachers alike are their primary customers. Apart from the canteen, the Madrepreneur group also produces gulucinas for school-based occasions like meetings, gatherings and the like, and would also take orders from teachers for their personal occasions. Daily income is accounted at the end of the day but they would divide their profit at the end of the week base on attendance per production.
The profit from the gulucinas, allows women to augment family income thus improves their involvement and motivates parents to come daily in BLT. They have also been generously allotting small percentages for the BLT fund for every production they have. One mother said, “Maliit lang yung percentage na naibibigay naming sa pondo pero galling naman sa puso ‘yon”. The fact that they are able to financially contribute to the program and also at home, enhances sense of ownership of the program and sense of fulfillment for the mothers. Furthermore, the Madrepreneur project provides venue for mothers to bond and form relationships with one another. They share laughter, they exchange skills and technologies, and they encourage each other to be more participative and supportive of the program.
Since they are engaged in a food-based entrepreneur, safety and qualitymust be ensured. Henceparents underwent a training on food safety which is made possible by the Health and Nutrition department of DepEd and was further supplemented by the training on food service and safety, and the awarding of a Health Certificate for each member of the group by the City Health Office. To ensure transparency and equality, parents hold a meeting weekly to discuss finances and were given a training on basic book keeping by the MCS BLT implementers.
Thank you for your interest in the 2015 BUSOG, LUSOG, TALINO (BLT) EXCELLENCE AWARDS! Through this first-ever awards program, Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) starts a tradition of honouring exemplary performance of BLT schools. Conferment of the awards shall serve as the highlight of the BLT Partners’ Summit Dinner on May 14, 2015.
The information below outlines the Award Categories, Eligibility, Submission, and Judging Processes for the BLT Excellence Awards. For additional questions, please contact Ms. LA Cruzat at email@example.com or (0920)974-8232.
I. AWARD CATEGORIES
The awards open for nominations are the following:
Nominees should meet the following eligibility criteria:
|For BLT School Nominee||a. At least on the 2nd year of BLT implementation during SY 2014-2015;b. With an FAC rating of 2.0 or higher on the FAC tool, as administered by the AIP/LIP (see updated BLT FAC standards for SY2014-2015 here)c. Has completed at least 50 BLT feeding days by November 14, 2014;d. Has submitted the following required reports to LIP/AIP on or before November 14, 2014:
e. Is endorsed by DepEd Schools Division Superintendent to participate in the awards.
|For BLT Principal and Feeding Coordinator Nominee||a. Must be from a nominated BLT school;b. Has been assigned as Principal or Feeding Coordinator in the nominated BLT school for at least one (1) yearc. Must indicate concurrence via signature on AIP’s/LIP’s nomination formd. Is endorsed by the DepEd Schools Division Superintendent to participate in the awards.|
Nominations shall come from the AIP/LIP that is directly overseeing the nominees’ BLT implementation. A Sub-LIP may submit nominations directly to the BLT Excellence Awards Secretariat, but must inform its AIP prior to submitting the nomination.
To submit your nominations:
a. Ensure that your nominee meets the eligibility requirements for the award.
b. Completely fill up the nomination form that comes with this packet. (Download form here.)
c. Secure an endorsement letter from the DepEd Schools Division Superintendent.(Download sample endorsement letter here.)
d. Submit the nomination form and required documents on or before FRIDAY, November 28, 2014 via:
Courier: Jollibee Group Foundation, 6th Floor Jollibee Plaza
F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
All nominations shall undergo a thorough process of screening and evaluation to determine the recipients of the BLT Excellence Awards.
Review of submitted nominations
|The BLT Excellence Awards Secretariat validates the eligibility of all nominees.||Eligible nominees (cc nominators and DepEd Division) will be notified and advised of the next phase of screening by December 29, 2014.|
Selection of Regional Finalists
|The BLT Excellence Awards Screening Committee selects from among the nominees the top 10 finalists for each region (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao) based on phone interview with BLT school representatives. Nominated principals/feeding coordinators from these shortlisted schools automatically advance to the next round of deliberations. The Screening Committee may choose to name less than ten (10) nominees in any region should its evaluation warrant such decision.||Regional finalists (cc nominators and DepEd Division) will be notified and advised of the next phase of screening not later than January 5, 2015.|
|Evaluation of Regional Finalists||Independent evaluators assess semi-finalists through the use of FAC tool and key person interviews during a pre-arranged date (any day from January 19 to February 6, 2015). During the set evaluation date, focus interviews will be conducted to assess nominated School Principal and Feeding Coordinator.|
Selection of National Finalists
|The BLT Excellence Awards Screening Committee deliberates on the evaluators’ reports and selects the top 2 schools for each region (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao).||National finalists (cc nominators and DepEd Division) shall be notified and advised of schedule for a video-taped final interview by February 16, 2015.|
|Evaluation of National Finalists||The BLT Excellence Awards Screening Committee arranges for a final videotaped interview with the National Finalists (any day from February 16 to March 6, 2015). This will include an interview of the principal, feeding coordinators and other stakeholders as well as the process of BLT implementation in the school.|
|Final Judging||The BLT Excellence Awards Board of Judges reviews finalists’ video interview and selects the awardees for each category. Decision of the Board of Judges is deemed final and will not be subject for appeal.||National winners (cc nominators and DepEd Division)will be informed by April 13, 2015|
|Proclamation of National Winners and Recognition Program||The winners are proclaimed and given due recognition through the following:
The winners will be proclaimed at the Awarding Ceremony on May 14 2015. They will also be featured in press releases and in social media.
Following are the incentives under the BLT Excellence Awards:
|FOR BLT SCHOOL AWARDS|
|FOR INDIVIDUAL AWARDS|
|BLT Feeding Coordinators||
VI. IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER
|November 28, 2014||Deadline for submission of nominations|
|January 5, 2015||Announcement of regional finalists|
|February 16, 2015||Announcement of national finalists|
|April 13, 2015||Announcement of national winners|
|May 14, 2015||BLT Summit Dinner / Awarding Ceremony|
OTHER DOWNLOADABLE FILES:
For the past 14 years, Serena Bano has served as a teacher in the coastal town of San Dionisio in the province of Iloilo. She originally wanted to pursue a career in Pharmacy, but because of her eagerness to help others, she found herself in the education sector.
“When I started teaching, there were only four teachers in our town teaching in one school,” recounts Bano.
After being assigned to different schools, where she taught different subjects such as English and Math, she was promoted to school head. Now, as the principal of Siempreviva Elementary School, she manages to find ways to do her duties despite all the challenges.
Majority of her 429 students come from impoverished families. Many residents in the area still rely on fishing, farming and fish processing as their main source of livelihood. Along with 10 other teachers, she teaches part-time while serving as the school supervisor.
“Mahirap talaga maging teacher. (Being a teacher is hard work.) You need dedication and commitment to teach students and see to it that their performance improves,” says Bano.
Not just classroom learning
For Bano, teaching goes beyond lessons in the classroom.
“Teaching is not just about educating students’ minds. It’s about ensuring that students have the ability to learn properly as well,” she says.
According to Bano, teachers, especially those in rural areas, have to deal with various hurdles on a daily basis. One of the most pressing problems is hunger among school children.
“Pag pumapasok ang mga estudyante na walang laman ang tiyan, hindi sila nakikinig, parati sila nag-aaway. Very poor sila sa lessons, ang reading nila slow at wala sila gaanong attention span,” says Bano. (When students go to school on empty stomachs, they have a hard time paying attention in class. They fight with each other. They do very poorly in their lessons. Their reading is slow and their attention span is very limited.)
“As a school head, I had to find a solution to help the kids,” she adds.
To address this, she used Home Economics classes in school to initiate a once-a-week free hot meal of arroz caldo (rice porridge), sourcing contributions of rice from parents and teachers to help cook the meals.
When she found out about the Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT), the school feeding program of the Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), she immediately requested that their school be considered as a possible recipient and it paid off.
Siempreviva Elementary School is now on its third year as a beneficiary of the program. The BLT School Feeding Program aims to address hunger among Grades 1 to 6 undernourished public school pupils to help them stay in school and learn better. JGF provides counterpart funding and technical assistance to enable schools to serve lunch for 120 days within the school year. The program caters to students whose weak stamina may not withstand the rigors of daily schooling leading to sickness and eventual dropping out.
“At the end of the feeding cycle, almost all the students who were severely wasted achieved normal weight. The feeding program has even become a great influence on the students to come to school,” says Bano.
She adds that the cooperation of teachers and parents has been helpful. They actively attend meetings to address the challenges of the program and ensure food, service and cleanliness standards are met.
Going the extra mile
Engr. Cora Corbal, Director of the Extension Services Division of the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST), which serves as the implementing partner of BLT in Iloilo, says that Bano went beyond the usual implementation. “In addition to the regular school feeding activities, she did her own research and introduced innovations,” says Corbal.
For example, she led an initiative to set up a small room with reading materials for the students. After lunch, they made sure that the pupils, especially those in Grade 1, would spend some time here so they could improve their reading ability.
“We have also been able to set up a temporary feeding center with donations from the local government unit (LGU) and alumni associations. The LGU is coming up with an allocation in their budget as counterpart for the BLT program,” says Bano. This is important in sustaining the program even beyond the support of JGF.
According to Bano, even other school heads have seen the positive results of the program and want to avail of it for their schools.
Erlie Gilo, the teacher in charge of the school’s daily feeding activities, believes that Bano’s role in the program was crucial to its success. “Importanteng importante ang leadership ng principal. Dahil kung siya mismo yung humihindi, siguro malaking challenge sa akin yun bilang feeding coordinator,” (The leadership of the principal is very important to the success of the program. If she was hesitant to take it on, it would be a major challenge for me as the feeding coordinator) said Gilo.
National Teachers’ Month
As the country celebrates National Teachers’ Month and World Teachers’ Day on October 5, it is good to reflect on how educators like Serena Bano show just how important the role of teachers is in their students’ well-being. They have been hailed as modern-day heroes because of their sacrifices for the education of young people. For its part, JGF continues to implement the BLT program and joins hands with teachers across the country in their mission of promoting education and securing a bright future for the country.