Childlink Learning Center and High School to mark its 25th anniversary in 2022

Childlink Learning Center and High School gets ready to have activities in the incoming school year to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2022.

The school’s anniversary theme is Linkers: Relevant, Responsive, Resilient.

“For two successive school years starting this July 2021, we will be retaining the same theme until the school year 2022 which is “to stay relevant and to continue to be responsive and be resilient” despite the changes and challenges brought about by the pandemic,” says Childlink founder and school directress Maria Theresa Tio.

According to Ms. Tio, the school has undertaken efforts to prepare their students for the transition to online learning.

Childlink, in coordination with parents and guardians, continue to create activities in order for the students to have social interaction with their classmates and teachers.

Despite the change in learning platform, the school has continued to hold the usual activities for the just-concluded school year. One example is the holding of Heartstrings: A Celebration of Music featuring the choir performance, ukulele, guitar, and rondalla performances of the students.

As the school is on its way to celebrate its silver anniversary in July 2022, it recently got a recognition from the Character.org, an organization devoted to fostering character development in our schools and communities for this month of June.  The international virtual recognition that Childlink has received will be done this October 2021.

Character.org cites Childlink as among those with 2021 Promising Practice.

“We are extremely proud to recognize the schools and organizations that have developed and implemented a Promising Practice” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, President of Character.org. “Each of these programs and initiatives have demonstrated significant impact and strongly align with the principles that help schools and organizations cultivate a culture of character.” This year’s character development practices and initiatives included peer mentoring, service-learning, and conflict resolution approaches. Many of the Promising Practices also involve parents and the local community. Character.org will honor each 2021 Promising Practice recipient (schools and organizations) at its National Forum to be held October 20-22, 2021.

Childlink has always provided quality education through face to face classes and close supervision by teachers and teachers’ aide before the pandemic and continuous to do so during this crisis.

But as a School of Character, the school not only focuses on academic excellence,italso places much emphasis on character development, Ms Tio explains.

“We continuously upgrade our curriculum so students will find learning relevantto real life situations,” Ms. Tio pointed out.

By doing this, Childlink enables the Linkers to apply what they learned in school and put these into action so they can be responsive to the community, she added.

To accomplish this goal, the school has come upwith the Childlink Creed to serve as a guide for the Childlink Student who is also called a Linker.

According to the Childlink Creed, a Linker is caring, honest, industrious, loving dynamic, loyal, interactive, nature-lover and keen.

Linkers will stand out among their peers for being caring and productive individuals,  who are loyal to family, school and country, Ms. Tio explained.

As part of its upcoming 25th anniversary, Childlink will continue its advocacies such as creating awareness for cyberbullying, gender equality and child marriage.

“We will continuethe  collaborationwe have with schools, abroad and within our country.These collaborations are done for the purpose of developing students to become solutionaries to the issues that are present in each of the communities,” she added.

 

Childlink is now open for admission for school year 2021-2022. Enrolment period for Elementary Students is from June 17 to June 24. On the other hand, high school enrolment is between June 9 to June 16, 2021. For preschool, the enrolment is between June 25 and July 3. Parents can choose either the Online Learning Program or the Home School Program.

Summer classes are also available and starton June 7, 2021. These include Reading Classes for Preschool to Grade 3; English Classes for foreign students for all grade levels and Reinforcement classes on English, Civics, Filipino Math, Mother Tongue and Science. The school also offers one-on-one online reading tutorials

Childlink: A school of character

Childlink Learning Center is the first “school of character” in the Visayas and Mindanao. It opened its doors as Childlink Playschool in 1997. Its founder is Maria Theresa Fong Tio, who holds a Nursing degree and a Masters in Education degree, Major in Pre-Elementary Education from the Cebu Normal University. She is currently completing a Doctoral degree in Education, Major in Educational Management.

SunStar LIVE! interviewed Tio to find out more about what a “school of character” is all about.

SunStar LIVE! (SSL): “You finished a nursing course. What made you shift to education?”

Maria Theresa Fong Tio (MTFT): “Nursing is a very versatile course. There is nursing in hospitals and other health care facilities, nursing in industries and nursing in education. I would have wanted to practice my profession as a teacher for nursing students after I got married but I prioritized taking care of my children on my own. While I was taking care of my growing children, I truly enjoyed teaching them and the great leap in the development of my own children inspired me to extend my teaching to other children.

When I decided to open Childlink in 1997, I only envisioned the school as a school for toddlers. Little did I imagine that after five years since I opened the school, I would be offering the elementary course. I only opened one grade level at a time until I completed the high school grade levels. This way, it allowed me to give focus on the curriculum that we offered to the growing students.”

SSL: “What is your curriculum that makes your school a ‘School of Character,’ that makes it different from practically all other schools?”

MTFT: Childlink is a ‘School of Character.’ Much focus is put in embedding character education in every subject. Every month, there is a focused universal value that we teach and efforts to incorporate and inculcate this universal value in every subject is the objective of every teacher. Every aspect of the activities that we do is also entwined in the monthly value. By doing so, students are able to understand and put to practice the values taught in the school, in their family and in their community life.

SSL: “You have placed importance on music and performance. Why is that?”

MTFT: “Music and performance give color to the students’ life here in Childlink. Music and performance teach students a lot of values such as discipline, patience and love and appreciation for the many things around us.

When I founded Childlink, I really wanted music and performance to be part of all my students’ life because music to me is a source of inspiration, motivation and even healing in times of happiness, sadness and when dealing with multifarious challenges that I have faced in every stage of my adult life. Because of this, I would want my students not just to appreciate music but mUSIC to be touched, music to be experienced, and music to be performed.

Music and performance give us a profound feeling of accomplishment and help us develop confidence, which is most needed for anyone to be able to deal with others.”

SSL: “In this second year of the pandemic, you expect to have your annual music performance. How will the performance be considering that presentation of performances face-to-face is not allowed?”

MTFT: “This year, our musical performance entitled ‘Heartstrings: A Celebration of Music’ will be performed virtually. This performance will be on May 15, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. via Facebook Live. This musical performance will feature our Childlink Rondalla with the special participation of our Childlink Choir and performances from some of our students in the elementary.

SSD: “Schools often grow eventually to offer college degree courses. Do you envision that?”

MTFT: “Opening a college is a very great challenge already, which I think I cannot do on my own. Putting up a school entails a very big investment. Having to build a school with excellence in all aspects as its mission is in itself a big personal investment. This is a dream for me but will probably remain such until I find a silver lining that will answer to the great challenge that schools are facing now more than ever most especially at this time of pandemic.”

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1894794?fbclid=IwAR19uopuYOKb-YhUNFIC_UvEBeJUP99zpx7sdafvOX3qTTSae93dvWgUHdw

#SayNOToChildMarriage

Childlink creates awareness on child marriage among its students

Most learning institutions usually focus on teaching their students hard skills such as reading, writing, mathematics and use of computer. Some do focus on developing the soft skills or people skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, cooperation or team work and empathy or the ability to share and understand the feelings of others.

 

This is what makes Childlink Learning Center and Childlink High School Inc. one of the schools that goes beyond teaching hard skills and has encouraged their students to develop soft skills, including empathy. The school has been promoting advocacies involving their students so they would learn about social issues existing in the community.

For March, which is the Women’s Month, Childlink will launch the “EndingChild Marriage” campaign.

The Philippines is 12th country with a high incidence of child marriage,said Childlink founder and school directress Maria Theresa Tio.

 

The United Nations Population Fund, in a policy brief released on January last year, found that one out of 6 Filipina girls gets married before they are 18 years old. This meant that 16.5 percent of young women aged 20-24 married before they became 18. This occurs although the Philippine Family Code sets the marriageable age at 18 years old.

“Many don’t know that there are child marriage in the Philippines. Our students thought that child marriage only happen due to pregnancy. But there are different reasons such as poverty or arranged marriage, which is practiced in Mindanao,” Ms. Tio said.

She noted that there’s a need for students to know what causes child marriage and its impact on society.

 

An analysis from the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) of Region XII shows that child marriage is both a result and a cause of the perpetuation of a cycle of gendered poverty.

To create awareness, the school asked high school students to join a webinar “Girls Not Brides” initiated by Zonta Club of Cebu 2. The webinarfeatured a discussion on child marriage by the Children’s Legal.The students were then assigned to come up with an infographic or an essay on child marriage.

 

A Grade 10 student, in her essay, wrote the following words:

 

“Brides may be girls, but girls are not just brides. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, designers, soldiers, students, and trailblazers. How could you ever expect girls to build their life up to only one role? Marriage is a choice not culture. A girl’s childhood is not preparation to be a mother and wife, instead it is for education to be the person she dreams to be.”

As a school of character, Childlink has been creating awareness among its students of the social concerns existing outside the safe bubble of their homes and the school. These include environment protection, cyber bullying, teenage pregnancies and anti-violence against children.

The school also spearheaded community outreach programs involving the students, such as reading programs, coastal cleanups, and anti-teenage pregnancy campaign, among others.

“I believe exposing children as early as this age to doing community outreach makes them realize there’s really purpose for them,” Ms. Tio pointed out.

She added that the school wanted to encourage students to realize that whatever course or career they will choose in the future, there’s something they can contribute to the community.

 

“For everything that you learn, there is something we can do for the betterment of others,” Ms. Tio stressed.

 

Childlink will feature a video on child marriage on its website http://childlink.edu.ph/.

 

“Usually, when we make videos (for our advocacies), we ask students for concepts which is made basis for the videos. We ask them to share video as much as they can. We are tapping other agencies in our community to help us propagate the message,” Ms Tio said.

The goal is to let people be aware that these things are present in our community, she said.

By doing these community advocacies, Childlink is fulfilling its role as a “School of Character” in developing caring and responsible individuals of the community.#

Forging Connections: The Japanese Cultural Exchanges By: Andrea Rentuza, Grade 10

It is a known fact that the ongoing pandemic has put a stop to numerous plans both great and small; it has held a pause button in nearly all aspects of our lives. Unexpected and sudden as this pandemic is, the merits of Childlink’s resourcefulness and ingenuity shine as beacons in times of darkness.

We are well-acquainted with Childlink’s proximity and involvement with the community. A notable aspect would be the school’s various advocacies under the Zonta Club. In fact, in an international level, it has been a practice for Childlink high schoolers to be invited to travel abroad once every year to advocate for Zonta. With the upsurge of the pandemic, however, this practice had to be withdrawn.

Nevertheless, another opportunity had presented itself. The combined efforts of schools in Japan such as Baika Women’s University and Maryknoll University, along with Childlink, have allowed students—from their schools and ours—to participate in virtual cultural exchanges throughout the months of September 2020 to January 2021.

Baika Women’s University

 

The exchange took place last year, specifically on September 18. Students from this university, as well as female Linkers from the Grade 10 class, utilized the Zoom online platform to hold the meeting. This was the first virtual exchange that we Linkers had ever participated in. As uncommon and new as the experience was, it had progressed rather ideally. We were given the chance to introduce ourselves to one another and bond through games and activities—sharing topics like famous food in Japan and the Philippines, among other things. The meeting was a memorable and enjoyable experience to see through the lens of these other students and share in their culture just as we have shared ours.

 

Maryknoll University

 

The entire Grade 10 class, along with some teachers, were able to participate in this exchange via Microsoft Teams. Upon entering the meeting, students from both schools introduced themselves to one another. Needless to say, it was easy to get that warm and light-hearted feeling upon seeing one student after the other, smiling and stepping forward to say hello and do a brief introduction, with an occasional shy smile or wave of a hand.

Later on, we discussed the Friendship and Wellness Program held by our class during the previous school year. In turn, they shared their own research presentations about global warming, poverty, and the pandemic, as well as their volunteer work for their local hospital (making medical gowns). To conclude the exchange, we introduced the song “Bahay Kubo” to them, and did a short sing-along.

Along the month of December, some students of our class were assigned to exchange Christmas cards with them. The anticipation and excitement that came along would certainly be something to remember, because not only would we be creating a card, but we would be receiving one from them as well.  We were even encouraged by our teachers to become pen pals, so that we may write to each other even on spare occasions.

Our most recent cultural exchange with them happened last January 19. This time around, we were sharing about famous pieces of literature and music. It was appealing to be introduced to this aspect of one another’s culture. Themes such as love, heroism, and friendship were the common ground of what we have discussed. Art, no matter where it hails, has the ability to bring people of different backgrounds together.

 

The Overall Experience

 

Although oceans apart and scattered in different corners of the world, one could easily feel a sense of companionship and connection. True, we see their faces merely through a flat screen and hear their voices out of the computers’ speakers, but the very bond we have—however big or small—is entirely of our own making. Whatever platform is used to connect with others, online or upfront, gives one the opportunity to reach out and explore.

If there is one thing that Childlink has taught its Linkers, it is that obstacles can be turned into bridges—forging lasting connections and welcoming new possibilities.

 

A Virtual Exchange By: Jhirlymarie Lloyd F. Tio, Grade 10

In my memory, Japanese culture has always played such an important role. As a child, I would watch anime with my sisters or on the television. My father bought us a Nintendo DS, and we would play Japanese games on it too. I remember sitting in Japanese restaurants and loving the food very much. Whenever my parents would go travelling to other countries, they would always buy me clothes from a Japanese Clothing store called “Uniqlo”. My school supplies and pajamas always had Sanrio characters on them. My classmates would play with Pokémon cards, Beyblades, and Bakugan toys. Needless to say, I was already surrounded by so many things that came from Japan!

I have been to Japan before. I went there with my family. I always had an expectation because I watched a lot of anime. When we were in Japan, everyone was so different than in the Philippines. Everyone was very polite and minded their own business. They had a lot of trains instead of cars. Their convenience stores did not just sell chips; they sold full meals! The people were very respectful and very courteous to one another. The trains were always on time, and before the trains would arrive, there would already neat lines formed by the commuters without anyone telling them to do so.

Japan was just as beautiful as I imagined it to be. Until now, I am always wanting to learn more about Japanese culture. When the pandemic began, I thought that it was so sad that I couldn’t travel anymore. I thought that the only Japanese immersion I would get was by watching anime and watching Japan vlogs. I was proven wrong when the school announced that we would be meeting other Japanese students!

Even if the Japanese Cultural Exchanges are done virtually, I learn a lot from the students we’ve met with. I learned a lot about the Japanese foods. I used to only know of a few famous ones, but then I learned more about the food they like to eat during New Years’ Day, Christmas, Birthdays, and Weddings!

In the second session, me and my classmates were able to share to them our advocacies for “Anti-Teenage Pregnancy”, and they showed us how they are also lending a hand to hospitals during the pandemic. The students in the class would make PPE attire and donate it to the hospitals.

During our sessions, we also end up talking about anime, which I really enjoy! It’s nice to meet other people my age, but in a different country!Me and my classmates love watching anime. When we talk with each other about it, it always makes us excited, so when we are able to talk about it with Japanese students, we are even more excited!

I was able to make a friend. We message each other through emails! It is amazing how technology brings two people from different cultures together. I always look forward to meeting students from the Japanese exchanges.

The Piano by: Ken Fukuda, Grade 6

There was once a boy who really loves music. He would go to the church every single day to see the pastor play the piano. He was really in love with the piano and wishes to learn how to play it. One day, the church pastor was looking for kids who have a great interest in music for an upcoming event. The churchgoers would love to see the children perform different musical instruments during this event.  This encouraged the boy to tell the pastor that he was interested to perform during the event.

The boy started to learn playing the piano. After a couple of practices, he found out that the piano is difficult to play. There were many keys and he didnot have any idea about chords. So, he asks the pastor to teach him how to play the piano. Days passed but he still cannot play his piece well. He almost gave up, but the pastor told him“ You must not give up because even Jesus didnot give up on us for the sins we committed.“ With this encouragement from the pastor, the boydiligently practiced at home. After many days of practice, he learns to play the piano very well. On the day of the presentation, the pastor and all the people in the church were very impressed with the boy’s performance.  The performance earned him a standing ovation from the audience.

Mandarin Chinese taught at Childlink

Childlink says learning Chinese an advantage for students
Cebu City – Learning another language is a good investment in your child’s future. Studies have shown that this makes the brain stronger. In fact, multilingualism has been linked to faster executive functioning and an increased ability to focus.
While English is used as the medium of instruction for higher grade levels in the Philippines, learning another language could also help learners become competitive in the future.
Based on World Economic Forum’s Power Language Index, Chinese is second only to English among the 10 most useful language in terms of competitiveness.
The Childlink Learning Center and Childlink High School Inc., which offers pre-school up to senior high education, are among Cebu-based schools offering Mandarin Chinese subject.
Globally Competitive
Maria Theresa Tio, Childlink founder and school directress, explained that the school teaches Mandarin Chinese to prepare the students to become part of the global community.
“We know that the Chinese language is one of the most used language in the world. This is very helpful in the business. This is very helpful in whatever kind of profession you will have, especially in our own local community,” she pointed out.
Ms. Ilyn Chua, president of the Childlink Parent and Teachers Association for school year 2020-2021, agrees with Ms. Tio’s outlook on the Chinese language.
Ms. Chua considers the Chinese language as an essential tool for people to be globally competitive.
Chinese speaking people are growing worldwide, so learning how to speak the language will be an advantage, Ms. Chua said.
Chinese Culture
Aside from teaching Mandarin Chinese, Childlink also tackles the culture and tradition using art as a medium so students could grasp and understand the language better.
Two of the school alumni, Ronnell John Binueza and Daniel Hans Tan, admitted that learning Mandarin Chinese helped them appreciate the Chinese culture and tradition.
“Learning Chinese does not only help you know the language, but it also helps you understand Chinese culture and tradition. It widens your view of the world, as it is not just mere alphabets, but a way of life,” Binueza explains.
“Well, Chinese language has helped me reconnect with heritage,” said Tan. He added that it helped him really appreciate traditional Chinese writing.
Because he knew how to speak Chinese, Binueza was able to assist a Chinese customer who found it difficult to place his order at a fast food chain or help companies communicate with Chinese clients and shareholders.
For her part, Grade 10 student Andrea Eloise Rentuza said ‘learning this language provides a new perspective on aspects of communication and connection to other people.’
On the other hand, Grade 8 student Jamela Aranduque said being able to speak Chinese allowed her to make new friends and satisfy her curiosity for the language.
Learning At An Early Age
According to Ms. Tio, Mandarin Chinese is a required subject at Childlink since it is classified as a Chinese school. The language is taught starting at the preschool level up to senior high school. She added that school’s teachers for the Chinese language subject include native speakers who are based in Cebu or those come from Taiwan.
She also cited the advantage of students learning Chinese at an early age since they could easily assimilate the language.
Research finds that children who are proficient in other language show signs of enhanced creativity and mental flexibility. Also, learning another language helps develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and listening skills. This will also help improve memory, concentration and the ability to multitask.
Childlink also ensures that they maintain the quality education the school is known for even if classes are conducted online because of the pandemic.
Aside from conducting group classes, Childlink teachers also have one-on-one sessions with students for Chinese and other subjects.
Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Childlink continues to provide quality education as well as character development to its students. As a school of character, Childlink has nurtured its students to develop that sense of responsibility so they become productive and caring members of the community.

Communicating Beyond the Syntax of Language By: Samantha Gomez, Grade 10

On January 23, 2021, Childlink Learning Center had a webinar called “Communicating Beyond the Syntax of Language: Thriving in the Midst of the Pandemic” with Dr. Henry Tenedero as the speaker. This seminar was attended by the parents, High school students, and the faculty.  During the seminar, Dr. Henry spoke about the meaning of communication. He stated that communication is the key to creating inspirational, motivational, uplifting, and engaging positive environments. It also brings out better understanding in each individual.As the speaker said, “Do not assume that what you say is completely understood right away. Communication breaks down because we look at it as we are, not as what it is and that is why we should always ask, ask, and ask,” he said. Communication goes beyond just talking. A person can talk as much as they want, but if others cannot understand, then there is no communication.

As a student and as child, I have realized that it takes time to communicate properly with others. Therefore, I have to be patient, understanding, and open-minded. Since I communicate with different people who do things differently, I must do my best to adjust and understand their methods and try different things in order for them to understand my point of view and for me to understand their point of view. If I ever come across someone who I try to explain things to but they don’t understand, then it just means that I have to try a different approach. I now know that communication can’t be rushed. It has to be carefully considered and thought of as words are powerful, what you say can’t be erased.

Marriage is a Choice, Not Culture By Jhirlymarie Lloyd F. Tio, Grade 10

The long train of a beautiful bride sweeps the middle aisle covered in rose petals as she walks down the aisle in the arms of her father. Smiling, nodding her head to her guests, and finally meeting the eyes of the person who loves her the most. It was finally the day she had been preparing for; she would exchange vows and rings as a symbol of true love and connection. She would end the day knowing she had her partner, her supporter, and her true love for the rest of her days.

This was how I always used to imagine weddings. Such a simple and nurturing union of two people who loved each other. As I grew up and got the opportunity to learn so much more, I learned that weddings are not always this sparkling, happy, love-based events I had always imagined.

In so many Asian countries, weddings seem to be some sort of trade, some deal, or some sort of bargain for the life of young girls. Girls were born into a community where they learn that their fate is to be married to continue to survive, not only for themselves, but also to help their family. They learn that without a husband, they cannot do anything. With those words and thoughts being pounded into them every day, they cannot help themselves when they are married off to someone they have barely met and do not love at all. Girls without a choice, and some without the knowledge that they ever had a choice, lose their childhood to become brides and mothers.

Their marriage is not the fairytale we always see, yet it is the reality that is always happening. Day after day, a young girl is married to a man, not for love, but for money, for a home, or to be a vessel to produce offspring.

Culture plays a role in these marriages, but it is not culture that decides marriage, it is love, joy, and companionship. Yes, these girls will have money, but will they have it freely? They have a home, but are they safe? They have children, but is it truly theirs? They have found a way to survive, but are they truly living?

Would you have survived being a mother as early as thirteen? Could you imagine being married at the age of twelve? Could you care for a child as a child? These questions run through my mind as I think of these young mothers and wives. It pounds on my heart thinking about the things they could have done, the people they could have loved, the experiences they could have had.

Brides may be girls, but girls are not just brides. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, designers, soldiers, students, and trailblazers. How could you ever expect girls to build their life up to only one role? Marriage is a choice not culture. A girl’s childhood is not preparation to be a mother and wife, instead it is for education to be the person she dreams to be.

In their efforts to spread this important message, the Zonta Club of Cebu 2 have shared this message in a webinar entitled Girls not Brides held last January 9, 2021. This webinar was attended by women and men of all ages. It just shows how in these times, there are ways to lift one another up and bring awareness to situations like child marriage.