Friday, October 21, 2022
When students step onto their campus in the mornings, the first thing they see is the main entrance of the school building. Imagine how they’d feel if they see a dreary, unkempt main entrance. Giving our students enjoyable places to learn and develop, campuses with vibrant murals and clean buildings with no graffiti, will help boost morale.
During the pandemic, schools weren’t able to upkeep their facilities due to short staffing and limitations in place to mitigate COVID-19. The launch of the Governor's Council of Economic Advisers Marianas School Pride (MSP) is timely and exciting for our local schools. Through this initiative, all schools in the Marianas will be able to participate in meaningful activities in schools that promote campus beautification and a sense of ownership.
What’s unique about this initiative is that the MSP allows and encourages students to take charge of beautification efforts. As we know, a cleaner learning environment will lead to fewer absences, improved classroom performance, improvement in student mental health, and more. Through the MSP Campus Beautification, our students will take part in cleaning and/or repainting existing areas that need help. Students will have so much pride and will be happier knowing that they took care of their school, a place where they spend most of their time.
Beautification activities will encourage students to be more involved in the world around them, be more environmentally conscious, and clean up after themselves. As the community sees how well the schools are taking care of their campus, this will also build a sense of pride within the community.
In addition to campus beautification, students can participate in the many meaningful activities that the MSP program offers, such as the Mural Art Contest and Christmas Decorating Contest. Both are geared toward improving their campus environment and making schools more festive and fun, On Oct. 24, MSP will launch even more programs, including the Anti-Vandalism and Anti-Littering Contest and the Village Flag Art Contest.
Our students at the Tinian Elementary School (TINES) have already submitted plans for our Campus Beautification project for this school year. The TINES Student Government Organization (SGO), the National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS) and Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) collaborated to identify what sites around the campus needed attention. I am happy to share that the SGO, NEHS, and YAP plan to clean and repaint the sidewalks and hallways. The students also have plans to prominently feature the school’s mascot in a mural on one of our campus walls. The GCEA team is actively working to provide the supplies and materials to us.
I hope our TINES students gain knowledge and skills through beautifying our school campus. I am confident they will be instrumental in convincing others to promote a positive and inviting school community.
To the schools that have yet to submit their MSP Advisors and Ambassadors lists, I encourage you to do so soon. It’s not too late! Let’s all take part in this amazing opportunity to showcase our school pride. The GCEA team is generously awarding points for participation in the MSP Advisors and Ambassadors meetings and when content is submitted to the MSP In Action newsletter, which launched this week. This first edition introduces the bright and motivated advisors and ambassadors from each school. Anyone can read it on GCEA’s website at cnmieconomy.com.
Schools earn points for every volunteer hour completed by their students and bonus points for winning a competition. We are motivated to earn points for the opportunity to win a cash prize at the end of the school year. Last year, the GCEA awarded $40,000 in Education Tax Credits awards plus $10K of cash and in-kind awards for the Marianas Village Pride program contest. This year, GCEA aims to award a total of $50,000 in cash prizes to 20 schools throughout the Marianas. The program is open to all public and private elementary through high schools.
We are extremely grateful to be part of Marianas School Pride and look forward to competing with other elementary schools for the chance to win $10,000! With this grand prize, we would like to purchase a school playground for our students to enjoy during their free time. I encourage our public and private schools to take part in this initiative so that you can also take care of your school environment. Together, We Can!
For more information, visit the GCEA website at cnmieconomy.com. Engage with the Council on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy) or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Monica Sanchez
Before her role now, Monica Sanchez was a teacher/teacher aid for the kindergarten to sixth-grade levels at the Tinian Elementary School. Monica is now a school counselor and she continues to be an active listener and develop relationships to help students directly or indirectly. In Oct. 2015, Monica earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix.