The sole purpose of the Brightfuture Foundation is to support Mangagoy Free Beneficial Preschool (MFBP), a school in the remote Philippine city of Bislig.
MFBP offers free English instruction to approximately 250 underprivileged, preschool-aged children. It employs a paid staff of seven: five certified teachers, one administrator, and one caretaker. In addition to free tuition, the school provides uniforms and books for the students and staff. It also provides for continuing education for the teachers and holds graduation ceremonies that are attended by parents and local politicians.
The four teachers conduct eight classes of about 25 children each weekday: four in the morning and four in the afternoon. Within the present building, purchased and gut-renovated two years ago, this represents capacity. As a private, non-profit school, MFBP does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education, but each of the teachers is certified by the department, and all attend periodic workshops on kindergarten education.
MFBP provides free English instruction to underprivileged 4 and 5-year-olds because basic English provides them with an enormous advantage. While well-off children are taught English at home by private tutors, or attend private kindergarten facilities, most local families cannot afford such an expense. Many of these children only speak Cebuano, the local dialect, and MFBP is their first exposure to the English language. Once graduated from MFBP, they enter the public school system with the enormous advantage of being able to read and write in English, the language that will enable them to excel in school on the fast track and, later on, have access to better colleges and a wider range of opportunities. According to the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, the importance of early-childhood programs cannot be overestimated. Such programs give children familiarity with the alphabet, numbers, and school routines, in other words: a strong start in their education.