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Successful week of Just Play Festivals

“It was great to see the kids having so much fun!” exclaimed Valusia Talataina, PE coordinator for the elementary school division. “Our visit with (FFAS) was awesome and I am glad we’re all on the same page as we ended the 4th week of the program.”
According to the Just Play Program booklet, the festival “is a good opportunity to emphasize the key messages and objectives” of their learning sessions.
This first set of festivals marked the completion of the first four sessions. The objective was child protection with the theme “Protecting yourself” emphasized by each school involved in the program.
It all started with a boat ride to Aunu’u with the A.P. Lutali elementary school kicking off the first festival on Oct. 24, followed by Leone Midkiff on Oct. 29, Alofau and Afonotele having theirs combined on Oct. 30 at the FFAS grounds in Pago Pago and the Veteran’s Memorial Stadium hosting the final three schools — Pava’ia’i, Lupelele and Tafuna — on Oct. 31.
“Each teacher along with the students presented the themes very well,” Talataina pointed out. “Most of the people that were present witnessed the excitement and the thrill in our young children. I would like to take our hats off to the teachers and to those at your schools that take this program seriously, especially with the health and the well being of our children. Every thing went well and we commend each of you for your efforts and support in this program.”
FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua commended the teachers and students for a great week of festivals.
“I was very impressed with our festival week, therefore I have to applaud
everyone for a tremendous job and a big Faafetai tele for your contribution
in the program,” Taumua said. “Congratulations to all Principals and JPP teachers of the seven schools involved in the program for your fantastic job. I look forward to
seeing the second session of the program regarding the NCD’s and keep up the
good work.”
One teacher said a common sentiment that has been expressed by other island nations in Oceania that also have the Just Play Program.
“We’ve found that all the students involved in Just Play are starting to do better in school and attendance is also high,” said Leone Midkiff teacher, Katherine Salave’a Taleni.
When told schools in other islands having Just Play Program have expressed the same sentiment, Salave’a Taleni was relieved.
“Wow, that’s great because here I was thinking I must be crazy to think that,” she said. “But it’s good to hear that and makes the program all the more worthwhile.”
The next festival, featuring sessions 5-8, will be held in December.

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