STAR grants school principal’s wish
Alpha Tolentino (The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Two years before she leaves a lifetime of service as an educator, school principal Erlinda Frany only has one mission to fulfill: to ensure the future of the students at Carmen National High School (CNHS) in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, her second home for the past several years.

“I want to do everything I can to make sure that the needs of the school are met for the future of its students,” she said.

The school currently has 570 enrollees, and its lone computer lab is equipped with computer units that the school acquired 12 years ago, save for one, which Mayor Lovella Belmonte-Espiritu donated a year ago.

Sensing the students’ strong need to keep abreast with the latest computer technology to remain academically competitive, Frany wasted no time drafting a letter of request for support and sent it to The Philippine STAR president and CEO Miguel Belmonte, although she said she did not really expect a reply.

She was still in a state of disbelief when The STAR, through its social arm Operation Damayan, visited Carmen National High School last Thursday to grant her wish, delivering 10 brand-new computer units that Belmonte donated to them. Apart from the computer units, The STAR also donated new tables and chairs as well as electric fans to the school.

“Kung hindi kakatok, hindi pagbubuksan; kung hindi maghahanap, walang masusumpungan  (If you don’t knock, the door won’t be opened; if you don’t look, you won’t find it),” Olivia Verde, faculty president of the school, quipped in her opening remarks in a special program the school organized on the day of the turnover.

It was a day of thanksgiving as school officials, teachers, students and their parents were overjoyed with news of the donation that they never expected.

Minda Gallardo, a pioneer teacher at CNHS, expressed gratitude as she shared that the school was being left behind in Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) because of its outdated computers.

This was echoed by a group of 3rd year high school students who said that they were confined mostly to theories and concepts in their TLE subject. “Walang application dahil wala po kaming computer sa school,” said the students, who crowded around Belmonte to take selfies on their phones as their gesture of appreciation.

On the day of the turnover, Operation Damayan also brought cheer to the school with games and prizes, treating the students to games of palayok, pasabit and Bring Me and giving them packs of merienda, fruits, vitamins and other gifts.

The unforgettable occasion did not end there, as Belmonte and The STAR team promised to be back for more good news.

For principal Erlinda Frany and the students of Carmen National High School, they couldn’t ask for a better Christmas.

BELMONTE BELMONTE AND THE BRING ME CARMEN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL ERLINDA FRANY MAYOR LOVELLA BELMONTE-ESPIRITU MIGUEL BELMONTE OPERATION DAMAYAN SCHOOL STUDENTS
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