December is the month where our students look forward to a great deal of various in and out of school activities. One of them is going to International School of Manila (ISM) for the ICare Program. ISM annually holds this program to reach out and interact between students from different grade levels, cultures and life experiences. It is an opportunity for Center for Excellence in Special Education (Stepping Stone) Foundation Inc. to be part of this wonderful program annually.
On the 12th of December, 2018 teachers and students from Stepping Stone Makati and Sucat campus all met and gathered atInternational School Manila, BGC. It was still early when we got there but we saw the excitement of our students. While waiting for theirISM buddies, we let them eat their breakfast and asked them if ever they want to go to the bathroom.
It was just right on time when their ISM buddies arrived and greeted us with warm smiles. They guided us to the classroom where we met the other ISM students who participated for this year’s ICare program. There were some familiar faces from last year’s ICare program and it was good to know that they also remembered some of our students.
We were all set and gathered at Mr. Cook’s classroom and since it was the first day of the said program, he instructed the ISM students to look for their assigned buddies among our students. Mr. Cook also asked us, the teachers, to introduce ourselves so they could learn more regarding our students.
The ISM students creatively found a good way to get to know our students more by doing a simple name tag arts and crafts. It was a good opportunity for our students since most of them are also interested in arts and crafts. They even helped our students in choosing lively colors and assisted them while writing their names.
In this activity, we saw that our students easily get comfortable with their buddies. After the name tag making, we watched a Christmas-themed movie, a movie that everyone knows, Frozen. Since our students are all familiar with this movie, they all sang along and even dubbed the movie’s catchy lines. This made their ISM buddies smile.
After getting to know each other and relaxing at Mr. Cook’s classroom we headed to ISM’s covered court where they could run around, play various ball games and obstacle courses. Most of our students played basketball, soccer and ball catching. They also played this parachute game called mushroom where you have to spread the parachute while holding its edge. Our students and their ISM buddies joined forces to make a giant mushroom; the thrill of this parachute game is you can go inside a puffed parachute and enjoy the colors of it. Our students showed much enthusiasm which made them closer with their buddies.
It was just about time that we need an energizer because who would not be hungry after all the running, ball catching and playing games? After cooling down from those gross motor activities, we headed to the cafeteria for snack time. ISM ICare buddies prepared a healthy but enjoyable lunch for our students which they enjoyed. They also got to appreciate each other’s company while eating all together.
Another gross motor activity was prepared for our students after lunch time. We headed to a room that looked like a sensory integration playground. There was an indoor rock-climbing equipment, bowling, slides, vestibular balls and all sorts of toys that could help our students with special needs regarding their sensory integration problems. Of course, they got more and more comfortable with their buddies as they played along and had fun with them.
Finally, after all the physically energizing activities, we headed to a pre-school room where they let our students nap and rest for a while. Some played Legos and Clay, some of them had fun having a pretend play with their buddies while others just took a nap.
Time flies really fast when you enjoy each other’s company. This fun-filled day might end but the memories will stay. It is indeed a wonderful opportunity both students of Stepping Stone and International School of Manila. Happiness and positive vibes were shared to each other.