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Last October we entered the Support Give-Away Contest for Resource Mate, the library automation program we use at Cebu Children of Hope School.  It doesn't sound too glamorous, but we thought it would be worth it to submit the required essay to see if we could win a year of free tech support.  The essay had to describe how Resource Mate helps impact our community.  Well, we just found out we won the contest!!!  Woo Hoo!!!

Here's the essay we submitted:

It’s library day and Eugene wants to check out the next book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series.  He looks at the spine label and heads to the “Fla” part of the Fiction section.  Juliet wants to check out a Clifford book.  She read one in her class and is excited there are more books about Clifford.  I help her look in the Easy section and we hunt for the spine labels that have “Bri.”  Mary Grace is ready to tackle chapter books and wants to know where to look for ones for girls.  I point her in the direction of the Fiction section of books with spine labels that read “Ame” for American Girl books.  Maybe she’d like to try a Junie B. Jones book too.  The Level B reading class is studying about camouflage.  A bunch of the kids ask where to find books about animals that use camouflage.  We brainstorm about how to do that and someone remembers that we should search on the Resource Mate computer using the keyword camouflage.  The Reading Challenge contest is in full swing.  Kids race into the library each day to return their books and check out a new stack to read at home.  Teacher Amanda comes into the library looking for books on the theme of risks and consequences.  She searches and finds a number of books she can check out and keep in the classroom for the kids to read while they are working on this topic.  Teacher Alfie stops in right before leaving for the day to check out some books to read to his girls at home.  Sounds like a pretty normal day in the life of a library. 

But the library at Cebu Children of Hope School is anything but normal or typical in this city of 866,000 people with one public library.  Our library serves the community of children who reside at Children’s Shelter of Cebu, an orphanage in Cebu City, Philippines and the staff who work with the children.  All of the children who come to live at Children’s Shelter of Cebu are from the surrounding communities on the island of Cebu or neighboring islands.  The vast majority of the children have either never attended school or have attended very little.  When the children start attending school at Children of Hope School, they often do not know the letters of the alphabet much less how to read.  Usually it is safe to say no one has ever had a book read to them.  Needless to say, they have never seen a library. 

Library__2The children are thrilled to learn what a library is.  No one has to convince them how cool it is to browse the shelves of books and check out books to take home to the shelter.  Teachers have also often never been inside a proper library.  To have an automated system and thousands of books at their fingertips is pretty unbelievable.  The children and teachers are taught how to look for books in the library.  They learn what spine labels and bar codes are and how the books are organized on the shelves.  They are taught how to search for books by title, author, subject, or keyword.  The children hover around the Resource Mate computer in the library eager to have their books scanned so they can start reading their selections. 

Library__3Most of the children who come through the doors of the shelter and school are adopted either locally or internationally.  Currently the children have been adopted into families in fourteen different countries around the world.  The experience and knowledge gained at our school and in our library goes with them to their new countries, communities, and families. 

On the surface, the little library at Cebu Children of Hope School seems pretty normal, but every day really is a little bit miraculous in our slice of the world on the tiny island of Cebu in the Pacific Ocean. 


Life and Living

Apr. 13, 2024By: Roberto Atienza  ›  Author Bio

A couple of weeks have passed since Easter, but the joy of the season still lingers on at CSC. During the Easter season, we celebrate forgiveness, reconciliation, renewal, and rebirth. On Resurrection Sunday, we revel in the new life we have been born into thanks to Christ's victory over sin and death. A new life; one that is defined by life, love, and living, and one that has an opposite trajectory to the life we had been living before. As you can imagine, this holiday holds very special meaning at CSC. At CSC, faith, love, forgiveness, renewal, rebirth ... new life ... are at the core of everything we do.


To celebrate the season, we use many symbols and, of course, have a ton of fun doing it. After church, a massive Easter Egg Hunt sends the kids running across the big field between the homes, searching inside of plants, pots, and dark corners. It's tons and of fun, and we explain how the eggs are meant to symbolize new life and living. The fact that they're hollow eggs made of plastic is meant to symbolize the empty tomb where Jesus' lay; a tomb which is empty because He is Risen! And the hunt? Well, that's just meant to be fun and goofy, and the smiles and laughter filling the Shelter make the effort of hiding the eggs completely worth it.

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Aside from the Easter Egg Hunt we also play fun games, like an art and coloring contest to showcase our kids' talents, and an egg toss for a little fun competition. The little ones used hard-boiled eggs for their games to make it a little easier for them, and I admittedly might have eaten a hard boiled egg or two while watching.

It's been two weeks now since Easter Sunday, but the feeling still lingers on. Not only is life marked by joy and happiness at CSC, it is also marked by renewal and rebirth. CSC is a place of a healing and growth, where children are able to heal from past hurts and grow past them, finding a new life that is no longer defined by their history or circumstances, but instead by who God has made them to be. I love Easter, and I love the fact that we can tangibly express the very meaning of Easter in everything we do.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

"Eureka" Moments


The Science and Math Culminating Activity at Cebu Children of Hope School was an incredibly enjoyable event where students could showcase their passion for science and math through a day filled with thrilling challenges and learning opportunities. Students were divided into two teams—the Einstein and Galilei teams—and they were enthusiastic about engaging in activities that tested their knowledge and teamwork skills.








The morning session started with entertaining math games that not only sparked healthy competition but also fostered a strong camaraderie. Each level required one student to achieve five correct answers, showcasing their quick thinking and problem-solving abilities. Teams cheered each other on, creating a vibrant atmosphere of unity and collaboration. The math relay further emphasized the importance of teamwork, as students had to combine their mental and physical abilities to navigate obstacles and solve problems.









The afternoon was dedicated to science, offering students a platform to unleash their creativity and critical thinking skills. They conducted experiments that ranged from crafting bird flyers to attempting the floating egg challenge, exploring the principles behind flight and buoyancy. The 'Protect the Egg' challenge was a testament to their understanding and problem-solving skills, as teams had to devise innovative ways to safeguard an egg using only limited materials.









Throughout the event, students learned about renowned scientists like Einstein and Galilei, after whom the teams were named. Prizes were given to the students, and everyone felt proud of their accomplishments.










The Science and Math Culminating Activity was a blast. It showed everyone how fascinating science and math can be when fully engaged. Kudos to the students and teachers for making it such a memorable day!

Small Pain, Big Gain

Mar. 7, 2024By: Zennefer Baya

Kids or adults, men or women, nobody loves to see needles. It's still a needle, no matter how tiny its hole may be or how small it is. Giving vaccines could be challenging as it would hurt the child, the person holding the child, and the one giving the shot in different ways. Poking tiny little arms or thighs with a fluid-filled syringe containing different ingredients that help the body to build immunity against various diseases is not pleasing stuff. However, as adults and advocates of these vulnerable kids, we chose to submit them to these immunization shots because we know it will bring them better protection against illnesses later. That is what love is sometimes, as the scripture says in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Just as the Father sacrificially gave His only son for us imperfect people to have everlasting life with Him, we also, as stewards of these kids entrusted to us by God first before the government, always give thought and act on what is good and for the best interest of these kids.

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When Love is the Key

Feb. 29, 2024By: Shiela Mae Prieto

Love is defined differently by every one of us. It is, after all, a very significant matter. The necessity of this in our day-to-day existence is something we cannot fight or ignore. When it comes to writing, I am an inspired and driven teacher. I enjoy sharing my opinions and thoughts on various topics, including my own experiences. I simply enjoy expressing myself, perhaps to uplift and encourage others to feel comfortable doing the same, or even just to simply tell others about the goodness of God in my life.
I want to share my cooking experience with the sixth-grade students at CCHS. I am blessed for the opportunity given to me. It all began on a lovely Friday afternoon in January, with gathering the supplies and ingredients needed for my students.


Even though I'm not really into "cooking," I had great joy and excitement while I was preparing. To get compliments from everyone who tastes what we prepare will be fun. While the students started to get inside the kitchen, I was honored and excited. We snapped a quick picture before the activity started. I observed their joy and enthusiasm by their broad smiles. Take a peek at our cooking adventure!


It's now time to start cooking. The pupils were occupied in chopping the spices. One of the students among the four is already proficient in handling a knife. Even though the others aren't accustomed to it, they're making a sincere effort to learn how to chop spices with care. I could tell how much love they had for each other and how much they enjoyed what they did. Here, "love" is defined as having a strong passion for what you are doing. Despite their lack of experience or fear of getting a cut while using a knife, they persevered and made an effort to successfully mince and grind the spices into little pieces.


I helped them combine the remaining ingredients once they had minced the spices. All the ingredients (ground pork, eggs, veggies, salt, and other seasonings) were combined in a bowl. I taught them how to wrap after I had mixed them up. Amazingly, they did a great job. They wrapped successfully and neatly. They were able to wrap about 50 pieces, and they started cooking. I love seeing them happy and enjoying themselves. They love to help each other and to accomplish the activity together. They're wrapping and cooking lumpia rolls together. They shared laughter and shared compliments for each other's efforts. We were all happy, and I felt the real ingredient and secret joy of harmonious activity—love.


It's time to start serving the food! They prepared some drinks as refreshments and arranged the lumpia rolls on paper plates. The lumpia rolls were delicious! After learning and discovering the fantastic taste, we were overjoyed!


Love is the key ingredient; everything works out when there is love. That was all we knew up until we had the opportunity to eat. The best result arises when love is the key. Unbelievable or impossible things can come true - thanks to the mystical power of the four-letter word love! It encourages us to push ourselves to connect with others' skills, talents, and individuality while also assisting in understanding one another and accepting differences. Indeed, it is a gift from God because He is love. It has no end and is priceless.


Birthday Prayer

Feb. 22, 2024By: Jinkee Reasoner

Meet a delightful five-year-old who is eagerly anticipating his birthday this month.


Four months ago, whenever I had a chance to talk with him, the topic of our conversation was always his birthday. He was already excited for his next birthday! But, unlike other children who come up to me telling me what birthday gifts they want to receive, this boy had asked that he and I should celebrate our birthdays together, since mine is in April. He wants me to pray for him on his birthday and that he will pray for me.

This exchange of conversation has been going on since then. What struck me the most is this five-year-old boy giving a particular importance for prayer, birthday prayer to be specific. This is our hope. For children to have a heart of prayer. And for us at CSC, to be picked by the birthday celebrant to pray for them is such an honor. If you are celebrating your birthday or just celebrated your birthday, I pray that you will be a blessing to others and that the Lord will use you mightily!