News Release

Hope and Progress for Amelia Heights Elementary School as the Church Brings Supportive Donation

Through a project carried out by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Amelia Heights Elementary School in Olongapo City was bestowed a life-changing gift on March 23, 2023. The school can now better provide quality education and facilities to its learners with the provision of construction materials and instructional resources to build three comfort rooms and a wash area and address learning gaps and losses among the students.

"God is so good and our hearts are full," said Ms. Maricel L. Andrade, School Principal, who was present alongside several teachers and the school PTA president, as they received construction and instructional materials at the Cabalan meetinghouse as part of a humanitarian project of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Amelia Heights Elementary School is so blessed that our dream to give the best facilities and services to our learners will now come to reality," she continued. "When [representatives from] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited our school, I knew all along that dreams do come true. And it was an answered prayer."

"The instructional materials are to be used as teaching tools to better the skills and to fill the learning gaps and losses of our learners," Ms. Andrade explained. "This would lead to progress and achievement of quality education." She ended her talk by sharing a scriptural verse from 2 Corinthians 9:11, "Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God."

The impact of this gesture goes beyond the physical structure of the school, as it highlights the power of community and collaboration. Ms. Leilani S. Cunanan, City Schools Division Superintendent, expressed her gratitude for the support received, emphasizing the Ubuntu principle of "I am because of who we are."

She expressed hope that more schools would benefit from the Church's generosity in the future. "Amelia Heights Elementary School is now standing on the shoulders of a giant because they can see better and farther through the assistance given them," she said. "I am because we are."

Baranggay Secretary, Michael Oquine, spoke briefly to convey the gratitude of the Baranggay Captain, officials, and constituents for the gift-giving.

"President Nelson said that the two greatest commandments can guide us," shared President Ricardo Asur, the Olongapo Stake (Diocese) President. "First, to love God. And second, to love our neighbor. So we show our love by serving."

Elder and Sister Huff, Church Humanitarian Missionaries, also shared their perspectives on the importance of education. "Teachers are some of the best people," Elder Huff emphasized, drawing from his experience as a university professor and his family's history with teaching. He recounted how he felt a strong sense of admiration and respect for teachers whenever he visited his wife Sister Huff's school, where he could tell that the teachers genuinely cared for their students and fostered a love of learning. The dedication and passion of the teachers at Amelia Heights Elementary School were no exception, and he expressed his happiness in helping the school.

"The teachers there really care, and the students are excited about learning and being there," he said, narrating how visiting his wife Sister Huff's school would turn into a happy place. Sister Huff encouraged the teachers to keep their passion for educating their students, stating that it was a blessing to be able to help the school. "I hope you will keep the passion that you have to educate your students," she said. "We consider it a blessing."

Jairus Perez, Country Manager for Latter-day Saint Charities, expressed his gratitude and hope that the project would make a positive impact. He emphasized the importance of showing love for Heavenly Father or God and love for neighbors by helping the needy, regardless of their religious affiliation. "We believe that we are all children of our Heavenly Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the one leading us in the Church," he said. "And He is concerned with the welfare of the children. That's why we also do our part."

The event ended with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the school and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The school presented a token of appreciation

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