Philippines: Adopt-a-School Program

Since 1999, Dole Philippines has been an active partner in Adopt-a-School, a program offering educational infrastructure, equipment, nutrition and empowerment

The Adopt-a-School program allows business groups, non-governmental organizations and civil society associations to adopt a public school of their choice anywhere in the country. Donors, such as Stanfilco and Dolefil, provide their adopted school with the necessary support and resource mobilization, including infrastructure construction, facilities support, teaching and skill development, monitoring and evaluation tools, learning support, computer and science laboratory equipment, and adequate nutrition. As partners with the Kasilak Development Foundation and the Mahintana Foundation and under agreement with the Department of Education (DepEd), the program covers over 55 elementary schools.

In addition to joint efforts with Dolefil to support schools, teachers and pupils, Stanfilco recently completed the distribution of 7,200 Science, English and Math textbooks to 55 public schools throughout Mindanao. This was the second large-scale book donation supported by the Company since 2005.

In the past, book donations were limited to only one subject per year, so in 2004 and 2005, much of Dole’s school support was in the form of Pinoy educational video programs, including television sets, video players, library materials and laboratory equipment.

In late 2005, a few adjustments were made to the community assistance program, enabling Dole to expand the range of donated textbooks to cover not one, but three elementary school subjects. In total, the Company provided nearly 9,000 books to their adopted schools. Despite this increase in donations, classroom and facility surveys revealed that the textbook to pupil ratio in the Philippines was still a mere 1:4.

The 2006 donation season kicked off on July 24th in chosen schools throughout Maragusan, ComVal Province and ended on September 28th at an adopted school in Tamayong, Calinan, Davao City. Kasilak Foundation’s Executive Director, Joemil Montebon, said that “Stanfilco’s donated books will make learning more appealing to students since they are more graphic, of a higher standard and fully compliant with the DepEd’s Revised Basic Education Curriculum (RBEC).”

For the past 5 school years, Dole has also built and maintained mini-libraries in each of its adopted schools by personally funding book purchases and hosting book drives. One drive held at Dole’s corporate headquarters in Westlake Village, CA, USA yielded 17 crates of books suitable for first and second grade students. Once sorted, all books collected in the drive were distributed to adopted schools in the four regions: Region X (Northern Mindanao), Region XI (Southern Mindanao), Region XII (Central Mindanao) and Region XIII (CARAGA).

The mission of the Adopt-a-School program is to foster academically-skilled students who possess the values of integrity and love for work. Dole’s assistance benefits young learners in the Philippine areas where dilapidated libraries, crowded classrooms, poorly equipped schools or inadequately trained teachers have been identified.

In addition to providing schools with scholastic material and learning tools, the program also offers extensive faculty training to enhance their ability in the classroom. Since 2001, over 60 courses have been conducted, including such topics as basic computer skills, strategic planning, speech improvement, “7 Habits of Effective People”, teaching techniques, and team action planning. To further ensure the program’s success, Dole emphasizes the importance of parent participation, teaching employees how to help their children succeed in school.