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COHORT 24 begins literacy service project

The students of University of Hawaii Cohort 24 began on Saturday their project for community service —  “Read and Write Everyday, Lead a Better Life.” The Cohort 24 has dedicated the month of March to promoting Literacy in the territory.

Their kick-off for Literacy Month was at Utulei Beach Park, where they stood along the road, waving and holding out books signifying the importance of Reading and Writing. Some of the books were given away to the first cars who stopped.

“We are trying to promote and encourage the people of American Samoa to start reading and writing more,” said the President of Cohort 24 of the University of Hawaii-Manoa Elenor Malaga Tagaloa. “Since we love our students, and because we are all teachers, we want to encourage everybody, especially all of the parents, to read to their children everyday, to encourage them to start reading all of the time... because teaching starts at home before the children start school. This will make things a lot easier for the teachers and it will be easier on the children, because it will give them a head start in reading,” she said.

According to the World of Literacy website,, the World Literacy Foundation believes that basic literacy skills are imperative to conquering poverty and improving the standards of living for millions around the globe.

It notes that each extra year of schooling a child completes will dramatically increase their earnings later in life; each year of primary schooling increases the wages people earn later in life by 5-15% for boys and by an even greater percentage for girls; and, each additional year of secondary schooling increases an individual’s wages by 15-25%.

No country has ever achieved continuous and rapid growth without first having at least 40% of its adults able to read and write, the website said.