Thanks to IBM, I found myself playing teacher and chef in one day! The afternoon of December 12, I joined IBM staff, volunteers, and other members of the media at the Pio del Pilar Elementary School in Makati for the KidSmart Learning Program wherein IBM donated several computer units for the students' use. This project is a partnership with the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (Cyberpress) to promote and advance the use of computers for young elementary students. Aside from Pio Del Pilar, another beneficiary is the Diosdado Macapagal Elementary School in Quezon City.
We were assigned "work stations" and several second graders who eagerly tried out the educational games installed in the PCs. Jeman Villanueva (of OrangeMagazineTV) and I enjoyed interacting with our "students" who, at first, would shyly raise their hands when we ask them questions. Pretty soon, though, they were laughing and joking with us which made the time pass very quickly. I would remember those sweet smiles for a long time.
IBM also had a huge Little Tykes/IBM toy computer assembled in one area of the computer room. I hope that many kids would get to enjoy that in the coming months and years.
After our stint as teachers, we proceeded to Enderun College to try our hand at being chefs. The night was actually a celebration and thanksgiving to cap off IBM's year-long centennial celebration.
We were divided into groups and were instructed to try and replicate the dishes that were demonstrated earlier by one of Enderun's chef professors. Our group came up with chicken and beef tenderloin dishes which we thought turned out pretty well. They tasted good, as far as my taste buds are concerned :p
However, another team won for cooking the best-tasting and best-looking dishes. I was just surprised that when they announced the best upcoming chefs from each group, I was the one named in ours :)
During the sumptuous dinner prepared for the guests, IBM key officers awarded six new Community Impact Grants to projects that are in line with the company's community agenda and local community priorities, in partnership with academic institutions or not-for-profit organizations. The projects were awarded grants worth $10,000 each.
The IBM Community Impact Grants reward an IBM's employee's dedication to community service, with a particular focus on projects that apply innovation and professional skills in improving the communities where they live and work.
The 2011 IBM grant recipients include:
• Negrense Volunteers for Change for their “Bulig Mo...Kabuhi Ko” / “Young Scientists of Negros” Project: IBM will help drive higher quality of education by leveraging technology in helping five public elementary schools in setting up Science libraries and laboratories.
• RFM Foundation, Inc. - The Outstanding Students of the Philippines - Alumni Community (National Capital Region): IBM will help expand the coverage of the “Youth Hours 2011” project. This is an annual youth seeding formation workshop focused on the three pillars of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) program: academic and professional excellence, leadership and social responsibility.
• De La Salle University’s Operation Big Brother: This program aims to implement a high quality high school education for selected groups of student in selected high schools in the Division of Schools in Manila. Specifically, it aims to create quality education by providing students with an enhanced curriculum (based on La Salle), and providing all necessary support elements to include: continuous training and development of teachers, provision of learning resources, and a strong values formation component. The IBM grant will be used to cover the cost of learning resources and student learning materials i.e. full set of books, workbooks, school supplies, and logistics i.e. for teachers and project volunteers involved.
• Ayala Foundation’s My Library Project – Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC): The project is focused on CENTEX Manila, a public elementary school that will be replicated to other community libraries under Ayala Foundation's "My Library" Project. Through the IBM Grant, IBM volunteers will help develop a system that can feature modules on acquisition, cataloging, circulation, OPAC (Search engine). Students will find great value in having all the needed information easily accessible with just one click.
• Miriam College Southeast Asian Institute for the Deaf’s (MC-SAID) Helping People with Disability project: The IBM grant will be used to purchase additional PCs for their computer laboratory that will help propagate the internet safety coaching material to more people (adults and students alike) and also enhance their computer classes with more up to date tools. In addition, the grant will help fund MC SAID outreach activities which are spent with more disadvantaged deaf communities and re-echo Internet Safety Coaching.
• Exempli Gratia Foundation’s Health – Education – Livelihood – Preparedness (HELP) program: IBM will help sustain standard H.E.L.P. programs that aim to address primary concerns of livelihood, values formation and nation-building -- like medical and dental missions, post typhoon relief operations, and donation of e-classrooms in various towns and cities outside of Metro Manila.
*IBM's Celebration of Service builds on the company's flagship program for empowering volunteers called the On Demand Community. Launched in 2003, the On Demand Community enables employees and retirees to find volunteer activities and identify skills and expertise they can contribute to a specific cause. In October 2010, On Demand Community surpassed 11.5 million hours of service logged by more than 170,000 participants.
IBM's Centennial Celebration of Service is sponsored by the international philanthropic foundation at IBM, which has been a leader in corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship for 100 years. To learn more about IBM's corporate citizenship initiatives, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/blogs/citizen-ibm.
*Photos borrowed from Orange Magazine TV's Facebook page