(Capitol Hill, Saipan – January 16, 2023) The Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers (GCEA) announced that in the month of December, elementary school students and advisors invested 150 hours to improve the appearance of three campuses on Saipan. A campus restroom beautification, installation of a vegetable garden, and a tree-planting initiative are among the activities supported by the GCEA’s Marianas School Pride (MSP) campaign.
In December 2022, the following schools completed beautification activities:
· Garapan Elementary School: Campus Restroom Beautification
· Koblerville Elementary School: Campus Vegetable Garden Installation
· Oleai Elementary School: Campus Tree-planting Initiative
Garapan Elementary School
Garapan Elementary School’s (GES) MSP Ambassadors invested more than 130 hours to complete their first MSP Campus Beautification Project. According to MSP Advisor Regina De Vero, the motivation behind the restroom beautification was to spread more positivity around the campus to students.
“We recently faced a few situations that started initially in the restroom, so we thought putting some motivational posters and reminders to students would make them want to be more responsible and caring towards their campus,” said De Vero.
According to De Vero, students will be able to change the posters to align with the schools’ themes or Education Month logo.
De Vero commended the students, “Thank you for participating in these projects and continuing to encourage yourself, as well as each other, to help beautify our campus. We are proud to see the hard work you have put into this and the time you dedicate to joining us.”
De Vero wants other students to be proud of their projects and present them to their families and friends to encourage them to be involved on campus as well. For the school’s next project, GES hopes to work on repainting the school initials on the water tank and repairing the flower bed in front of the office.
As for MSP Ambassadors Tomika Shaha and MD Rahad Hossain, both hope that other students will volunteer to make the campus more enjoyable.
“It’s important so the future generation of students can have a better environment and also continue to want to beautify the school campus. Taking care of our environment can help prevent pollution and also prevent spreading sickness to humans and animals,” said Shaha.
Hossain added, “It’s fun to do activities with other students and meet new friends. You can also be helping the school campus and the community. You can learn new things and find new hobbies that you like doing with all the activities we do.”
Koblerville Elementary School
Koblerville Elementary School’s (KES) MSP Ambassadors put in seven hours to complete their first MSP Campus Beautification Project. According to MSP Advisor, Francis Mendiola, the motivation behind the installation of a vegetable garden was to teach the students ways to be self-sufficient and to enjoy being in nature doing hands-on activities.
Students were able to plant four types of hot peppers – pumpkin, salsa, tabasco, and cayenne – followed by okra, cucumber, eggplant, string beans, calamansi, local lemon, and pomegranate.
“We hope this garden brings a sense of ownership and appreciation for what can come when hard work is put into action. We hope they appreciate the fruits of their labor,” said Mendiola.
Mendiola says the garden belongs to the school and with the labor of love put into it, the students
will be rewarded back in the end through the knowledge gained from their experiences growing the garden. She added that the experience will teach the students life-long lessons.
According to KES STUCO President and MSP Ambassador, Napu Pangelinan, the garden will help raise funds to purchase equipment for the school.
“We can grow things to eat healthier. We could also sell our produce to the staff of the school in order to raise funds to purchase needed equipment to promote healthier lifestyles and activities, such as PE or playground equipment,” said Pangelinan.
As for 5th Grade Gardening Club member and MSP Ambassador, Merleen Tamerang, the garden brings an aesthetic appeal to the school.
“It encourages other students to want to participate as they see the farm developing and action being taken place,” Tamerang said.
Oleai Elementary School
The Oleai Elementary School’s (OES) Marianas Youth Welcoming All Visitors Enthusiastically Club (MYWAVE) in collaboration with the OES MSP members planted trees along the OES southern field. According to OES MSP Advisor, Orphea Singeo, both clubs wanted trees that flowered and were able to be kept at certain heights and shapes.
“[Students wanted] trees that bloomed flowers [as a] way to provide real-life examples and connections to classes learning about plant life. Trees that were easily maintained were chosen based on safety factors,” said Singeo.
Amongst the trees that were planted, students were able to get their hands on plumeria trees from the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance.
According to Singeo, the students chose this project as a means to stress the importance of trees and plant life in the Marianas’ environment.
“We wanted the students’ biggest takeaways to be that plants and trees provide oxygen, limit carbons, reduce air pollution, minimize erosion, provide food and homes for animals, and add beauty to the landscape. In essence, trees play a vital role in our environments,” said Singeo.
MSP Advisor, Isabel Maximina Carreon hopes that her peers will learn that trees play a big role in the Marianas’ ecosystem.
“Trees will benefit our schools by making our campus look beautiful and provide shade for students during recess and PE. I hoped my peers learned that trees provide homes to a variety of animals and insects that are important to our environment,” said Carreon.
Carreon hopes other students will participate in future events to learn more about how to take care of their surroundings.
Carreon noted for the students’ benefit, “Years later when you are older you can come back and look at how much the trees have grown and appreciate your part in all of it.”
About the MSP Campaign
Through these beautification initiatives, students learn the value of taking pride in their campuses and making them better places to learn and thrive. The campaign’s goal is to help students understand their essential role in making their schools better places to learn and make friends. Through their experiences, students can be instrumental in educating others in the community about the importance of a clean environment and hopefully mimic these activities in their homes and villages.
The GCEA commends the students and advisors on their successful projects and encourages other schools to be creative in how their efforts can improve the quality of their campus experiences. Together, We Can!
For more information or to participate in the Marianas School Pride, visit the GCEA website at cnmieconomy.com or contact the Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.