Project Matilda: Building a world of stories

The Havas Ortega Swarm brings meaning to an unused classroom with its first library initiative.

Published on January 15, 2016

Project Matilda: The Kalabuso Elementary Children's Library

Just in time for the holidays, the Matilda team transformed an unused classroom in Kalabuso Elementary, Tagaytay into a wonderful world of stories. In a matter of five days, we brought the room to life with colorfully painted walls and towering shelves filled with about 2,000 books donated by hundreds of amazing people. With the help of Principal Anna Reyes and the rest of the school officials, we put together a simple program to surprise the kids with a first look at their new library and all the awesome stories they can read. The kids surprised us, too, with a couple of performance numbers to say thank you to us. But really, the happy, excited looks on their faces and their smiles were more than enough.

Posted by HVMO Project Matilda on Sunday, January 17, 2016

THE KIDS OF KALABUSO Elementary School have never had a library of their own. Being a small, close-knit community hidden in the ranges of Tagaytay, they only have their school to give them a place to explore books. Recently, their mayor donated a new building, making the old building vacant. Project Matilda saw this as an opportunity to turn one vacated classroom into a world full of thousands of stories.

An agency-wide initiative led by volunteers from various teams in the Havas Swarm, Project Matilda built an entire library for Kalabuso Elementary—from fundraising, to books, to construction and assembly.

The team acquired a total of 2,000 books from funds and donations courtesy of the Havas Swarm book drive efforts, as well as corporate donors Anvil Publishing and Adarna House.

As the target inventory was completed, the Project Matilda team and friends of Swarm volunteers worked together at Kalabuso Elementary to set up the empty classroom, fill it with bookshelves and collaborate on a massive wall mural. Sponsors and donors also helped the team bring the library to life, with paint being sponsored by Davies Paint and school chairs provided by VIVA Communications, Inc.

Planning, conceptualization and fundraising began in April 2015 and the library finally opened its doors on December 11 with a special program done in collaboration with the school’s faculty and their principal, Ms. Anna Reyes.

All 161 pupils joined in on the celebration to launch their first-ever library. While the Project Matilda team prepared games, snacks courtesy of Krispy Kreme, giveaways and entertainment, the kids also prepared surprise performances for the team. At the end of the program, they were given a tour and welcomed into their new library for the first time.

Project Matilda was able to bring smiles to 161 kids eager to enter a world of stories with its first-ever endeavor, the Kalabuso Elementary Children’s Library. Now, the team is on the continuous quest to build more of these worlds and make more kids smile.


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