MARIKINA, PHILIPPINES — As a testament to its longstanding commitment to building, supporting, and empowering Filipino communities through education, McDonald’s recently launched its first “ReClassified” classrooms in Marikina City, an initiative that sees the transformation of materials from renovated McDonald’s stores to redesigned school chairs and tables, intended to improve student’s learning experiences across the country.
The project recognizes that many public schools and educational institutions need more or better basic classroom facilities and equipment. Several even use tables and chairs that are in disrepair, affecting the students’ learning environment and experience.
With McDonald’s continuous renovation of at least 60 restaurants every year, it found an opportunity to address this need by upcycling and repurposing decommissioned dining furniture from these renovated stores, to create school tables and chairs that students can reliably and more comfortably use.
McDo partnered with Dr. Willie Garcia, Founder and Principal Designer of Junk Not, a noted social enterprise that upcycles plastic materials into new furnishings, to bring this initiative to life.
Dr. Garcia and her team added an arm desk as the basis for the improved design and followed global standards. They went through an inspired and structured process, from prototyping to production, to ensure the new chairs and tables’ safety, durability, and functionality.
The launch, held in time for the opening of classes, in close collaboration with the Marikina government, marks the initial turnover of the new redesigned chairs and tables to the San Roque Elementary School in Marikina City, the first school beneficiary.
Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro, an alumnus of the institution, said, “We, in government, are at the helm of ensuring quality education for all, but we cannot do it alone. Sabi nga, education is everyone’s responsibility. Creative solutions through strategic partnerships with various sectors amplify positive outcomes. No matter the scale, collaborations such as this ReClassified project contribute to our shared goals for Filipino learners. Kaya’t salamat McDonald’s for choosing Marikina and my alma mater, San Roque Elementary School, as your first beneficiary.”
Adoracion Valderrama, Principal of San Roque Elementary School, commented, “Bilang mga guro, alam namin kung gaano ka-importante na mabigyan ang ating mga estudyante ng pinakamabuting kagamitan para sa kanilang pag-aaral [Educators know how important it is to provide our students with the best resources and equipment for their learning]. Having these ReClassified chairs and tables from McDo will lead to significantly better class engagement – the kids, most especially, are excited to use them starting this term. We are already receiving excellent feedback, not just from the children but also from their teachers. We’ve observed that the kids are more participative and receptive to our teaching!”
Adi Hernandez, McDonald’s Philippines AVP for Corporate Relations, affirmed, “As McDonald’s grows and reimagines more of its stores all over the country to improve the customer experience, our commitment to people and communities also grows. We have always advocated for the youth through education – and we have been doing so by providing regular employment opportunities to working students and world-class training, supporting our charity of choice, Ronald McDonald House Charities and its programs Ronald McDonald Read to Learn and Ronald McDonald Bahay Bulilit, as well as our other community initiatives like McDonald’s Classroom and our yearly participation in Brigada Eskwela.
“ReClassified is something we are excited about, and we are working to have more of these ReClassified classrooms nationwide to benefit more Filipino students. We are thankful to Marikina City – most especially for believing in this initiative and collaborating with us. We certainly look forward to partnering with more local government units and schools for this initiative in the near future.”