Monday, July 29, 2019

The Learning Child: Little school in the garage turns into a thriving learning community

When Mary Anne Abella Alfonso began her kindergarten school in 1969 in her home’s garage in Padre Faura, Manila, little did she know that it would grow into a big school located in the heart of the south of Metro Manila. What started as Mary Anne Alfonso’s Kindergarten is now The Learning Child (TLC), a premiere Catholic school devoted to early childhood and special education programs.

From 1969 to 2019, TLC moved to five different locations. From the original site in Padre Faura, it relocated to Rizal Village, from 1972 to 1975; San Lorenzo Village, Makati, from 1972 to 1980; Tahanan Village, Parañaque from 1980 to 1982; then BF Homes Parañaque from 1982 to 1990. From Parañaque, the school moved to Ayala Alabang where it now stands in a sprawling school complex designed by National Artist for Architecture Francisco Mañosa. TLC’s journey is colorfully documented in a mural painted by students.  

Alfonso, fondly called Teacher Anne, declares, “We have come a long way. Each move has been a journey of learning and growth for me and the TLC community.”

In a span of five decades, TLC has helped rear almost 10,000 students. For a time in the 1990s until 2010, TLC also offered elementary education aside from preschool.

In spite of the challenges, The Learning Child has weathered the storms. The Ayala Alabang campus now has an inclusion program for children with developmental delays and an expressive arts wellness and therapies center through MAGIS Creative Spaces. The Learning Child is also a major partner in providing early childhood education to indigenous Filipino communities through Cartwheel Foundation.

To kick-off its golden year dubbed “TLC, Thriving @ 50,” the school recently organized its first alumni get-together where former students and also their parents met to reminisce and plan for the anniversary. A series of events is envisioned to culminate in a grand TLC community reunion to be held in early 2020. Teacher Anne reveals that these efforts are part of a bigger plan. She says, “ We want to do more to share our blessings. We have a legacy-building project for scholars.”

Now 75 years old, Teacher Anne still runs TLC together with a dynamic faculty and staff. She says gratefully, “Nurturing young minds has taught me so much about dedication and commitment to providing early childhood education. Life is precious at my age and there is nothing more in life than to see my TLC children come home.”

Former TLC students are encouraged to contact the school and be part of this once-in-a-lifetime celebration. For more information

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