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Community Briefs

reporters@samoanews.com

KANANA FOU PRESCHOOLERS VISIT HOPE HOUSE RESIDENTS
 
Youngsters from the K-3 and K-4 classes of Kanana Fou Elementary School paid a special visit to the residents of Hope House at Fatuoaiga last week. The kids, accompanied by their teachers, came bearing gifts in the form of basic necessities including toiletries, snacks, and cases of water.
 
The visitation culminated the preschoolers’ week long program called “Praying and Caring for the Elderly and Sick.” The Hope House residents were treated to songs and prayers offered by the children.
 
“TOA O LE TAI” PILOT PROGRAM
 
The Department of Commerce is continuing to collaborate with the American Samoa Department of Education and world renowned marathon swimmer Bruckner Chase on the development of the Toa o le Tai project. Samoana High School has been the pilot school, since the program’s inception two years ago.
 
The course takes students through extensive swimming, training, and development of their knowledge and appreciation for the ocean. The “Toa o le Tai” project continues to empower students with techniques and skills to be effective swimmers and long term keepers of the benefits of keeping our waters clean and safe.
 
DOE DIRECTOR STOPS USE OF PUBLIC SCHOOL FACILITIES FOR COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
 
Come next Monday, March 4, public school grounds and facilities will be off limits to community sponsored activities, including organizations like churches and sports associations.
 
The suspension will be in effect until the Attorney General and the Governor complete a review and grant their approval regarding DOE policies pertaining to fees and procedures for community use of school grounds and facilities, including school gymnasiums.
 
Over the years, public school gyms and restrooms, cafeterias, and even classrooms have been vandalized, and an assessment of DOE facilities revealed a lot of broken gates, fences, doors and windows, in addition to an abundance of trash.
 
Director of Education Vaitinasa Dr. Salu-Hunkin Finau says DOE does not have enough money to continuously repair public school facilities. DOE’s current school bathroom repair project will cost close to $60,000 and includes only the replacement of broken toilet bowls and tanks, urinals, sinks, etc.
 
DOE officials have met with all PTA officers islandwide to collaborate on ways to educate local school children on how to respect government property and how to help DOE take care of its facilities.
 
Vaitinasa pointed out that all public school gyms and most classroom buildings were paid for with federal funds primarily for use by students who attend public schools, meaning community use is secondary.
 
ANNUAL NATIONAL SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK  
 
“Be a Force of Nature” is the theme for the Annual National Severe Weather Preparedness Week Workshop which the Department of Homeland Security and the Weather Service are co-sponsoring. The event which will begin on March 3 and continue through March 9, 2013.
 
“The focus is to encourage the people of the territory to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their respective areas of dwelling, workplace and schools in the event of severe weather, in conjunction with FEMA’s annual theme of Pledge to Prepare”.
 
The workshops they will have will focus on identifying severe weather in the territory, terminologies (watch, warning, watched), line of communication, information distribution process, TEMCO assessment, highest volume phone call from the public, most affected areas during past events, how to grasp and convey information and group discussions.
 
The events will kick-off with a church service held at the Petesa Tai EFKAS church, followed by outreach activities with schools, coalitions and a mini expo held at the Laufou Shopping center.



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