“Maliit lang itong aking ginagawa pero malaki ang impact nito sa mga bata. Kasi isa lang ang tinitingnan ko dito — kung paano natin tutulungan ang mga bata na makapag-aral, makapagtapos. Kasi pag natapos sila, ‘yun ‘yung malaking impact sa nation-building.” – Ms. Jinabelle Valdez Prieto, Master Teacher II of Francisco Benitez Elementary School, 134 Solis St., Tondo, Manila.
Nominee of The Many Faces of the Teacher who believes that the simple dreams of the children in Tondo, Manila can make a difference for the country and the world someday.
Having observed the increasing rate of student absenteeism and dropout in Francisco Benitez Elementary School, Ms. Prieto decided to start Project ARAL, a program that offers assistance to students in need in Tondo, Manila in the form of school supplies, food allowances, and even counseling.
To date, Ms. Prieto has six beneficiaries who are now in grades 5 to 7. She got by with this mission by squeezing funds from her own personal pocket. Her dream is to find more partners for Project ARAL so that she can help support more families in Tondo.
In addition, being the traveler that she is, she extended her generosity to indigent families living in the remote areas of Kalinga, Marinduque, and Palawan by conducting donation drives and feeding programs.
Ms. Prieto scouts her beneficiaries through home visitation and an interview with the students’ parents.