Every year, the British School Manila (BSM), conducts a Service Learning Week around the middle of June.
Stepping Stone, in partneship with BSM, has been the beneficiary of the good deeds these Grade 10 students for the last four years.
For the school year 2017-2018 that just ended for BSM, over 60 students, faculty, maintenance and other BSM staff visited Stepping Stone last June 18 and June 20 to do their very much appreciated service week.
For this year, after early consultation with senior teachers Ms. Emma Denton and Michael Guiness, it was agreed to build a flower and vegetable garden located at the back of the school which houses the hydroponics greenhouses.
The back area consists of over 300 square meters of land partly used for four (4) hydrponics tents but otherwise dark and really left unattended.
The first order of business after deciding that this area would be transformed into a showcase garden with space to grow vegetables, was to trim the trees in the area to allow sunlight to brighten the area.
It is always difficult to trim trees and professionals had to be called in from the City of Parañaque, thru their City Environment and Natural Resources office (CENRO). We salute the participation of the City for their support. The result was a much brighter and better workable area to create this new garden.
After a second visit from BSM, tools such as hand shovels, long shovels, hoses, wheel barrows, even soil and all the plants and seedlings were delivered a few days before the start date of June 18.
As the anticipated date arrived, the first batch of students, over 30 of them together with their teachers, maintenance staff and even a couple of security guards arrived at Stepping Stone to get the garden started.
Some students laid down the plants that were earlier delivered, some brought in the soil, while others laid down the brick path as a walkway thru the emerging new garden.
From 9 am to 1:30 pm, the students and their teachers and staff toiled thru the heat and dirt of clearing the debris and laying down a new foundation for this garden.
In only less than five(5) hours, a once messy area was transformed into a brand new garden. Although still incomplete, the garden was taking shape and looking great.
On June 20, the second batch of approximately the same number of students, teachers, and other staff came in to finish the job. Working like clockwork, bricks were laid down, plants were put in place, soil was transported to areas that need it. By 1:00 pm that afternoon it was time to declare “ a job well done”.
All the students, teachers, maintenance crew were awarded simple certificates of appreciation for their hard work. Chairman & President Mundy Gonzalez handed out the certificates. Trustee Ann Aspinall and Executive Director Dayal Nandwani were also present during both days and thanked everyone for the work they put in and the materials BSM supplied to make this garden a reality.
It is always a wonderful thing to create something from nothing. This was the case for our new garden. An empty, dark, messy piece of land was transformed to a vibrant, living garden.
Thank you BSM students, teachers and staff. Rest assured we will take care of this garden and we look forward to next years’ Service Learning Week.