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Just Play Program gearing up for closing festivals

“Some of the schools we saw were fantastic and great while others are still working to get theirs to that same level,’ Talataina said. He spent a little more than a week visiting the eight elementary schools involved in the program with a Football Federation American Samoa representative last month.
“I believe they will all be on the same level by the time school ends in June,” Talataina pointed out.
Seven schools started the program for the 2014-2015 but at the beginning of the second semester one more was added. The schools are Afonotele, Alofau, A.P. Lutali (Aunu’u), Le’atele (Fagasa), Tafuna, Lupelele, Pava’ia’i and Leone Midkiff. The Fagasa elementary was the new addition for the second and final semester for the school year.
“DOE and our association have been partners in the Just Play Program for the last three years but this one has been the best so far,” explained Tavita Taumua, FFAS’ CEO. “A lot of that goes to the hard work from the DOE’s PE department.
“Our president, Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet, executive committee and members are thankful as well to Puna Tanielu (Assistant Director for the Elementary School Division) and Netini Sene (Acting Assistant Director for the Office of Curriculum and Instruction),” Taumua added. “And especially the teachers for their hard work every week. They are a big factor in the program looking this good with the end of the school year around the corner.”
Teachers have noted a rise in enthusiasm and improvement in school for most of the students involved, as well as having students present the lesson plan of each session to the students themselves.
“One of our presenters today (March 18) is a student with an IEP (child with a disability),” explained Leone Midkiff teacher, Katherine Taleni. “And one of our other presenters is on a list of Improved Students, and they did a good job presenting their lesson plans.”
The curriculum for the JPP includes a booklet with 16 sessions. After the first eight sessions, a festival is held combining most of the lesson plans. The same applies to the last eight sessions.
FFAS and DOE’s PE coordinators have planned to turn this final festival into a competition amongst the eight schools with judges to evaluate the presentations and participation of the students.
“The whole purpose for this is to have our students utilize our Just Play curriculum and also to foster a continuous desire to live a healthy life and maintain optimum fitness,” Talataina said. “The Just Play Program has been such a blessing and as we implement the curriculum to its fullness I know we can all be successful and our students will benefit.”
“This is also a way for us to give back to these schools because we plan to give them all prizes for a job well done to the teachers, students and of course their principals for their support of our program,” Taumua said. “We look forward to the conclusion of Just Play with these planned festivals to close out the program.”

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