PAREF WOODROSE Student’s Rural Outreach Program: "focus more on others' need"

Summer break is here and students are out of the classrooms enjoying their long vacation. Some would go out of town, or schedule summer activities with their friends and families. There are some however, who would spend their vacation learning and helping others.

I had a chance to visit the students of PAREF Woodrose, an exclusive school for girls, in their Rural Outreach Program in Balete, Batangas. This is a yearly 5 day program organized by the Narra Nueva Study Center. Thirteen PAREF Woodrose students, coming from grade 7 to 4th year highschool, attended the program.

The students' activities are well rounded. They start and end each day with prayer. Their lodging location this year is in the Balete Family Farm school. Students stay in a non aircon room - far different from what they are used to. It is especially admirable because they had to bear the current summer heat, which even I could not bear without aircon.

After breakfast, the students go to the Balete Central School, where they teach young public school students. They focus on subjects like English, Arts and Crafts, and Catholic Bible study. It reminds me of Teacher's Week back in elementary and high school days.

Even if the students are still young, they where able to manage and catch the attention of their class. There are some funny moments where the PAREF Woodrose students were having a hard time explaining or translating words from English to Tagalog, since they are used to talking in English. Still, you can see them giving their best effort in teaching.

After lunch, the students do some family visits. They get exposed to a different side of society and living situation. Afterwards, they return to the Balete Family Farm where they do some gardening.

Despite the difference of environment and society they are used to, the students still estiles their stay and the activities. When asked why they chose to attend this program: "We like to go out and meet new people, see and experience the difference between the provincial and city life". The program teaches them to "focus more on others' need, not their own".

PAREF Woodrose "nurtures in its young students a thorough appreciation of both academic and character formation”. 

The school adopts modern teaching techniques such as Singapore Mathematics curriculum for grade school. Its Christian education is inspired by the teaching of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei.

The school is known for pioneering home-school learning collaboration and mentoring system (formerly referred as tutorial system) in Philippine education. They currently maintain a ratio of 1 mentor for every 10 students. The school has a total of 106 mentors as of this writing. The program, as early as grade school includes mentoring students - working together with the parents.

Parents and students wanting to study in PAREF Woodrose need to note the following admission requirements:
The Admission Procedure
1. Submission of all required documents
  • Accomplished Parents' Information Sheet
  • NSO Certified Parents' Marriage Contract *
  • NSO Certified Student's Birth Certificate *
  • Original and photocopy of Student's Baptismal Certificate
  • Report Card
  • 2 x 2 pictures (2 copies)
  • Recommendation form accomplished by the Guidance and Testing Office of the previous school
  • Recommendation form accomplished by the Class Adviser and Registrar of the previous school
* For foreign documents, Original and Photocopy of the Marriage Contract of the Parents / Original and Photocopy of the Student’s Birth Certificate. Original Documents will be returned to the Parents.
2. Parental Attendance at the Orientation for Parents
3. Interviews and Testing
  • Parents are interviewed by a PAREF representative
  • Student takes an assessment test
  • Student is interviewed by the Level Coordinator
4. It is following this procedure that a Letter of Notice is prepared and mailed to the parents

For more information, please contact the School Registrar, Mrs. Rose Dumlao at 850-6380 to 83 local 111.
(Guest post written by Heidi Kleiber.)

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