Governor asks DOE to reinstate food program for BGCAS
Several months ago, the Department of Education ceased providing snacks for the Boys and Girls Club of American Samoa (BGCAS), however Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has recently instructed Director of DOE, Vaitinasa Salu Hunkin Finau to again provide snacks for the Boys and Girls Club.
In a letter sent to Vaitinasa last week, the Governor noted that he received a request from BGCAS Chairperson Mary Ann Tulafono, for the government to reconsider its decision.
“I do appreciate very much your efforts to contain spending to reflect shrinkage in the Department of Education’s federal funding due to sequestration. Notwithstanding this legitimate concern, you have shown through your presentation that our children need all the help they can get in order to improve their performances in standardized tests," he wrote.
“Your presentation was affirmed by the American Samoa Community College’s presentation revealing that 90% of our high school graduates must enroll in remedial courses before they are ready to matriculate to college courses,” said the governor to Vaitinasa.
The governor further stated to Vaitinasa that they both reached out to the community for help, after realizing this is a responsibility that cannot be shouldered by the government alone.
“I therefore welcome any and all assistance from community organizations, analogous to the Boys and Girls Club which has demonstrated its legitimate capacity to assist our children through tutoring, mentoring, and developmental programs after school.” The governor noted that based on this vision “it would seem contradictory for the government not to support, nor encourage or nurture these third party community service organizations."
“Accordingly, unless there are overriding reasons precluding, continue to provide after school snacks to programs with demonstrated capacity to assist our children after school through well-defined and well-orchestrated after school programs,” said Governor Lolo.
Chairperson for the GBCAS Mrs Tulafono, told Samoa News over the phone that following this letter, they began working with the DOE School Lunch program to organize picking up the snacks.
Mrs Tulafono sent a letter on Monday noting that the parents of the children are relieved to know “this crucial service from the government has been restored.” She further noted that they are humbled to know the children will be cared for as they truly deserve.
“Through your leadership and vision BGCAS is honored and enthusiastic to assist with the government’s mission to enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. BGCAS stands proud and ready to provide a solid foundation in schooling and rearing to the children of American Samoa,” said Mrs Tulafono.
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