It takes 4 hours by car to get to Cuyapo Central School in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija. From the main highway, you take a right into a little road you would not notice unless you’re looking for it, and you begin to follow this thoroughfare where you see more tractors than cars. As you make your way down this road, houses begin to appear farther and farther away from each other, and soon you find yourself driving beside rice fields that seem to extend on and on. And just when you feel that you might’ve taken a wrong turn, you arrive in the little town of Cuyapo.
Despite it being located in a small town, Cuyapo Central School has a student population of 800. To be able to accommodate all their students in their classrooms they have both morning and afternoon sessions. But despite the lack in the number of classrooms, the campus of Cuyapo Central School is a nice one. They have a nice gym, a sprawling field, and a cafeteria. The only thing that Cuyapo Central School lacked was a library.
Our friends from Books for a Cause actually recommended Cuyapo Central School as a partner to AHON Foundation. Before our partnership, Cuyapo Central School only had a simple room with a humble collection of books that functioned as their library. But within a span of one month, they were able to create a reading space that was unrecognizable from the very first time we visited their school.
Under the tutelage of Dr. Cristina Miranda, principal of Cuyapo Central School, the faculty and administrators were able to acquire enough resources to give their library a new look. They are especially thankful for their school’s Parents Association that helped them every step of the way. With the money they were able to raise, they painted the tables, chairs, and shelves, and covered all four walls with colorful murals depicting cartoon characters as well as quotes inspiring children to read. When we arrived on the day of the inauguration, their library was a shining example of what a library should be. The only thing it lacked were students to use this!
But the students did excitedly pile into the library after the short but meaningful inauguration took place. Once the ribbon of the library was cut, and this declared officially open, children rushed towards the shelves to grab a book for reading. As the four walls of the library were filled with excited chatter of the students, Ma’am Jackie, Cuyapo Central School’s OIC, thanked us for the library we developed. We replied to her telling her that she was very welcome, but without the work that they as a school put in, there wouldn’t be a library either.
Congratulations Cuyapo Central School! We hope that the library we developed together will inspire your children to dream!