By EDDIE G. ALINEA
LOS ANGELES, Califronia — High school students in General Santos City, Sarangani Province and other parts of Mindanao can avail of free books they need when the coming school year opens this August.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is donating from 50 to 60 Balikbayan boxes containing hundreds of reading materials worth $2.5 which would benefit poor Filipino students.
The donation was made to the Emmanuel and Jinkee Heart Foundation of eight division world boxing champion and Sarangani Congressman Manny Pacquiao and his wife, Sarangani Vice Gov. Jinkee Pacquiao in a simple ceremony held at the couple’s residence here.
Pacquiao himself received the donation from husband-and-wife Clement and Yvonne Asencio.
“Malaking bagay ito para sa mga kabataang estudyante, not only of Sarangani and and General Santos but the whole of Mindanao,” the Filipino ring icon said upon receipt of the donation.
Contained in the Balikbayan boxes are, among others, textbooks on Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, Spelling, Test Taking Strategies, and various workbooks.
The donation, according to Mr. and Mrs. Asencio, is actually the first part of a bigger project initiated by the LAUSD.
Plans also include notebooks, pencils, ball pens and other school materials aimed at easing the burden on parents of indigent students in Mindanao.
“Students in Mindanao are lucky to have people like those in the LAUSD who would come out of their way to help educate them,” Pacquiao said.
“In behalf of the local governments of General Santos and Sarangani as well as other places that will be benefited by this gesture of the Los Angeles Unified School District, thank you very much,” the former World Boxing Organization world welterweight champion said.
“Rest assured that this donation will reach the intended beneficiaries,” Pacquiao added.