183 F. Blumentritt St. San Juan City. Philippines
+632-724-54-66 to 69
SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY
History of the Aquinas School Outreach Program
Aquinas School was established by the Dominican Fathers in 1965. Since the time of its formation, Aquinas School's Vision Mission was very evident, "Contemplare et Contemplata Aliis Tradere". The members of the Aquinas Community experienced and lived the ideals of Truth, Justice, Joy and Compassion by helping people who are really in need. They always attend to the needs of other especially the suffering. The initial help that was given by the members of the community was extended to other outside the circle of the Aquinas Community. As the members grew in their awareness and concern for the needs of others, they decided to go and reach out to the needy, our less fortunate brethren. Fr. Braulio Pena, O.P., the director of the Aquinas School Religion Department in 1986 organized the Knights of St. Thomas Aquinas (KSTA). This helped the department to reach out to the indigents of San Juan and Barangay Sto. Nino in San Mateo, Rizal. From then, Fr. Braulio motivated the whole school community to offer any kind of goods to be given to the less privileged members of the said communities. In 1987, Ms. Catharine Mercado (now Mrs. Catharine Ramos) and Ms. Ofelia Cadorna continued the noble work of charity begun by the Dominican Fathers. As the School Community members grew deeper in their commitment as inspired by the Christian spirit, they became more sensitive to the needs of others, that anytime materials were needed, they solicited, responded or assisted without delay. In 1993, Sr. Flor Villabona, O.P., who was then working on her thesis made a survey and requested the Religion Department to make a survey in Barangay Sta. Lucia, specifically the Better Living and Averilla Streets. A series of meetings with the Barangay officials were held to ask for their cooperation in improving the quality of life of their constituents - the residents. The Barangay Officials and the organized outreach arms together started to identify the poorest families in the area. These will be the beneficiaries of Aquinas School. After the survey, Aquinas School implemented the programs in the same year the Outreach Ministry was formally launched with Mrs. Ramos being the Head Coordinator. As years went by different things to be done were thought of, ideas conceived and easier and means planned to reach out and help other. Livelihood programs were organized, Adopt-a-Child Program on Christmas. To enhance a more lasting human development to give the poor opportunities to improve their economic/social conditions/status in life. The Non-Formal Education Literacy Program (NFE) was recognized and accredited by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports. The proposals made for the implementation of the program were all approved and support was given by the DECS, the NCR and NFE, the Literacy Program or the Tuloy Aral helped Out-of-School youths, house helpers and workers finish their basic schooling in the Elementary and High School for free. As our records show, more than 300 out-of-school youths since 1995 have benefited from the program. Some of them are now enrolled/continuing their High School and College Education. Last SY 2004-2005, Aquinas School implemented another program entitled "Alay Ko Tu". This program was designed to help the students of the nearby elementary school. The teachers of Aquinas School would personally handle the classes of these students. Sometimes the students will come to Aquinas or the teachers would go to their school. All major subject areas were given due consideration and a time table completed which contains the name of the teacher and the time of their classes. SY 2005-2006, the idea of bringing the students out of the school and having them involved in community service was taken into consideration. Mrs. Ramos with the help of the Aquinas School CAT-I Commandant, Mr. Arli T. Iquina, visited a site in Tanay, Rizal were indigenous people were living and working. Farming being mostly their means of livelihood, these people work and live in very poor conditions. The first batch of students made the trip and brought along survey forms to be filled up by the respondents. For every family they visited, they gave them a bag of groceries which contained basic necessities like sugar, coffee, soup and other goods. SY 2006- 2007 , the intensification of all outreach activities were realized and the immediate response to the needs of the victims of calamity was tested. The Tuloy Aral, Alay Ko Tu, Exposure Program ,Feeding Program, Solicitation, and Spiritual program for the poor were enhanced through the collaboration of all members of the community. SY 2007-2009, the community service was integrated in the CAT Program of the School. The Red Cross Club commit themselves to help in the facilitation of the Alay Ko Tu Program. The members of the said club facilitates in the tutoring the elementary pupils of the Kabayanan Elementary School. All The programs of the Outreach Department will not have been a success without the help of the volunteers who have generously given their time and effort, concern and dedication to this cause. These are the administrators teachers, parents, students, staff, alumni and outsiders who had big hearts to participate, share and continue the Mission of Christ. As long as Aquinas School exists, the commitment and dedication to serve the underprivileged will always be in the heart of the institution. Contemplare et Contemplata Aliis Trader. Contemplate and fill ourselves (oneself) with the Divine Truth and Love, then share to others the fruits of this contemplation through our good works of mercy and acts of charity.