FFAS > News > FFAS JUST PLAY PROGRAM > St. Theresa wins Just Play-ending festival competition

St. Theresa wins Just Play-ending festival competition

“It was a great ending to the program that saw an increase in schools this year with 16 total,” said FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua. “On behalf of our president, executive committee and association, we want to thank the American Samoa DOE for partnerning with us in delivering this program to the schools, in particular, the elementary division and its OCIA office.”
Last school year’s elementary schools having JPP numbered nine and this is the second straight year for the competition, with Leone Midkiff winning the inaugural festival competition in 2015.
“What a great ending and I want to thank all the judges for providing their time in this effort and in heping to ensure that each school was assessed fairly in accordance to their performances,” said Valusia Talataina, PE Coordinator under the Office of Curriculum and Instruction (OCIA).
Talataina and FFAS Technical Director Rupeni Luvu had given all 16 schools topics for their fesitvals and judged them in order to pick the top eight schools for the final. St. Theresa, as the only private elementary school given the Just Play Program curriculum, were also judged and their performance was well received. This allowed them to enter as the ninth elementary school in the final competition.
Unfortunately, on the day of the competition Aua was unable to attend the closing.
St. Theresa’s Just Play teacher is no stranger to the program as she taught the winning school last year, Leone Midkiff, before moving over to the Angels school for the 2015-2016 school year.
As a teacher for the Just Play Program she has won this competition two years in a row. She expressed her appreciation for the program and also said that it is a great teaching tool for all teachers.
When the judging were announced, the points per school showed it to be a very close competition.
Each school was given a topic from the JPP booklet with the students presenting their themes and acting as the teachers and coaches as well.
Below are the schools’ placements, presenting themes and points received from the six judges.
No. 1 St. Theresa (Inclusion of Children With Disabilities theme) – 172 points
No. 2 A.P. Lutali (We Are All Different theme) – 168 points
No. 3 Leone Midkiff (Non-Communicable Diseases theme) – 167 points
No. 4 Leatele (Gender Equality theme) – 164 points
No. 5 Siliaga (Protecting Yourself theme) – 145 points
No. 6 Afonotele (Walk With A Friend) – 134 points
No. 7 Alataua (Together As One) – 132 points
No. 8 Matatula (We Are One theme) – 124 points
St. Theresa received a perpetual trophy and $800 while A.P. Lutali went home with $600, Leone Midkiff was given $500 and Leatele got $400. The other four schools were given $200 each and all prizes were sponsored by the FFAS.
Matafao elementary received the Most Improved Award with their students making drastic changes in terms of attitude, attendance and performance from the start of the school year to the end. Matafao JPP teacher Asolelei Jannie Onosa’i-Pepe received the plaque sponsored by the FFAS.
The six judges were FFAS executive members Rev. Ioane Evagelia and Amio Mavaega-Luvu; Levaivanu Samuelu from the DOE’s Office of the Elementary School Division; Fiavae Savali, the American Samoa Office of Protection and Advocacy for the Disabled; Farrah Lesa of the Public Health Department and Travis Fleming from the Office of Land Grant.
“To the schools who participated in this year’s Just Play Program final, we salute you in your efforts in teaching all of our children to stay healthy and active through exercise,” Talataina said. “By being proactive, we help our children avoid the unfortunate fate of obesity and other health related illnesses. We would also like to extend our appreciation to the Principals and your JPP teacher’s, as well as those individuals who assisted with the wonderful program. We want to especially thank the children for their participation. It is our hope and prayer that they continue to live a healthy life full of healthy choices.”
“We saw this program increase in numbers this week and from the evaluations by Talataina and Luvu, it was another great year having the program in the schools and I hope that we continue this partnership with the DOE and their curriculum office,” Taumua said. “I hope the students enjoy their Summer break and don’t forget that we still have soccer going on, especially our competition for your age group scheduled for July.”

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