In the months that have passed since our roll-out of the Daycare Assist Program on January 8th, 2010, we at Steps for Success Foundation have closely observed the progress of the initial ten daycare centers that were the first proud recipients of the Daycare Assist Program (DAP) materials, sponsored by Activated Ministries. This report addresses the first two focuses of the DAP model. After reviewing the first round of assessments from Group 1, along with the ongoing positive feedback from the teachers of Group 2, we are fully confident that the DAP can reach the intended targets and goals that we have set forth; to create educational exposure of positive values and skill sets. Not only is the DAP gaining credibility, it is already producing positive results in the lives of the precious students who we are so blessed to serve through the DAP - now estimated at over 1,000. Along with the incredible generosity of Activated Ministries, we can hardly wait to see the DAP become of national interest here in the Philippines.
The orientation and training of the second group of teachers was held on March 5th. Between April 16 and 18 we completed the distribution of another full set of Daycare Assist Program materials to ten more daycare centers.
The primary focus of the Daycare Assist Program is:
1. Train teachers in applying positive character skill sets into their curriculums
2. Provide materials that reinforcepositive character skills. This also includes training the social workers, who supervise the daycare school networks.
Since we have accomplished these two aspects in Group 1 and Group 2, we are seeing a positive change in the teachers themselves. These veteran teachers have shared many stories of struggle; what may seem surprisingly simple to us is a daily burden for them. They shared stories of how it may take years to obtain a simple TV, a fresh coat of paint or teaching aids, and how they have had to plead for used books for their daycare centers. There are of course the more crucial personal struggles that have shaped the lives of the teachers. We have deep respect for such dedication. Our hope is that the veteran teachers that we chose to be the first beneficiaries can help us pass on these values to the next generation.
Some of the teachers have made various comments about the value of the Daycare Assist Program:
“Thank you very much Steps forSuccess Foundation! Without the DAP materials we cannot ask anybody else to give this opportunity to us” --Emma
“We really appreciate your help, it’s a big help for us and especially for the children in the daycare center. Maraming salamat (Thank you very much.) God bless!” --Marites
“I am very appreciative and thankful for being one of your selected participants to receive the DAP materials for free” --Maria
When we see the positive changes made by providing teaching aids and support to these teachers, we see them pass on this positive enthusiasm directly to their students. The inspiring change ofattitude when observing these teachers over the last few months is a success story that is merely beginning. In offering DAP to these well deserving teachers, a way of sharing our standard of values with them, we have imparted the hope of a brighter future to 20 teachers and 1,000 students.
The students have all been viewing and learning the values concepts portrayed in the ten Treasure Attic episodes, various audio CDs, and wonderfully illustrated books, posters and activity pages provided to them by Activated Ministries. As none of the materials are available in the more common Tagalog language, we emphasize the use of the more visual materials during the training and orientation classes with the teachers as a starting point, and then move on to the stories which each teacher verbally translates as needed. The English exposure provided by these DAP materials has the ability and to help students gain a more firm grasp on spoken English.
The feedback from the assessments and ongoing communications with the teachers and SWD (Social WelfareDepartment) coordinators is very positive. We receive confirmations that our materials are being well utilized and well accepted. In Group 1, seven daycaresare using and teaching with the DAP materials 2-3 days a week, with the other three already using the DAP materials daily. DAP materials are being used and taught at regular intervals during the class periods and breaks, such as watching a Treasure Attic episode as the class has their lunch. The top three DAP products used are currently:
1. Treasure Attic DVDs
2. Start Early posters
3. Early Bird Reader kit
Here are some reactions from the teachers when asked how well the students are reacting to the DAP materials:
“They sit up, open up about thevideo and the children also want to give their stories. They listen and are attentive” --Menzie
“The children are excited and interested especially when they watch Treasure Attic. They also love the Start Early posters” --Aida
“They are interested in the values lessons and the colorful pictures with different views, they are learning things that will give the child hope to become good children of God” --Angelica
“The colorful posters are very helpful in teaching the different values. I can explain one by one the meaning of each picture” --Cynthia
“[Start Early] colorful posters andcoloring books have much value and are very appropriate for the daycare children” --Hermina
The collaborated efforts of so many have made possible what is clearly a great step for success in values education. The ongoing quarterly assessments are vital so that we can continue to observe the effectiveness of the DAP products that are invaluable in teaching the next generation the true steps for success.