SM Foundation turns over new building

THE SM Prime, through the SM Foundation, recently turned over a two-storey, four-classroom school building to East Central Integrated School (ECIS) in Dagupan city last week.

Carmen Linda Atayde, SM Foundation’s executive director for education, shared SM founder Henry Sy’s advocacy to make education as the best defense against poverty. 

“He observed that there was lack of classrooms. And the children that go to school don’t only need books and teachers, but also need a roof over their heads where they can study.

Pupils of East Central Integrated School ecstatically run towards the new school building donated by SM Foundation after the turnover on Thursday in Dagupan City.  (Punchphoto by Jojo Riñoza)

That’s why he envisioned that each school setting should be conducive to studying, that’s how the school building program started,” she said.

Atayde said the school building turned over in Dagupan is the 92nd school building donated by SM Prime, through the SM Foundation, in its 60 years of operation, making it a total of 292 classrooms since the school building program of the foundation began nationwide in 2002.

She  described the school building as fully furnished with 200 armchairs (of which 20 are for left-handed pupils), four sets of teacher’s tables and chairs, 16 wall fans, eight blackboards, four wall clocks and a toilet for each classroom.

Persons with disabilities (PWDs) of the Foundation of These-abled, a PWD association supported by the SM Foundation, made the armchairs and furniture for the school building.  An emergency staircase on both sides of the building, fire alarm bell, emergency light at the staircase landing, with ramps and toilets for disabled people have been installed too.

During the turnover, Dr. Reynardo Barrozo, school principal of ECIS, expressed his gratitude to the SM Foundation for choosing their school as the beneficiary of their school building program. 

“Ito ay isang panaginip ko na nagkatotoo. Malaki ang pasasalamat namin sa SM Prime. Out of the 31 barangays in Dagupan City, tayo ang nabigyan ng pagkakataon na maging recipient sa napakagandang building na bigay ng SM Foundation,” he said. 

Barrozo said Kindergarten and Grade 3 students will occupy the new building. 

Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez, representative from the Department of Education-Dagupan City Division, members of the Parents-Teachers Association, SM dignitaries, local officials and ECIS students witnessed the ceremonial turnover.

As the heart of the SM group of companies, SM Foundation is focused on social development and helps the underprivileged in communities where SM is present. 

SM works hand in hand with its host communities and helps create a positive and lasting growth that is felt by all. (PIA Pangasinan)

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