Guam – Students at WeiPat High School on Namonuito Atoll in Chuuk will soon have a fully functioning computer lab, thanks to a partnership between the Guam Community College and the Cuthbert Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping build capacity and increase opportunities for students in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia.
The partnership is funded by an $85,874 grant from the Department of the Interior.
[Dr. Mary Okada, GCC president, and Lolita Reyes, asst. director of Development & Alumni Relations, help Bill Hagen, director of the Cuthbert Project, load laptops onto a container full of educational supplies bound for WeiPat High School on Namunuito Atoll in Chuuk]
The goal of the Cuthbert Project is to provide essential developmental English language skills and supplement Chuuk’s efforts to establish the necessary infrastructure to provide educational opportunities to students. Today, GCC assisted Cuthbert personnel in loading computers and other grant-funded items into a 20-foot container at Pacific Solar and Photovoltaics in Dededo. The container is bound for WeiPat High School, located on the island of Onoun in the Namonuito Atoll. Once the container arrives, the materials will allow officials there to convert an abandoned classroom into a fully functioning computer lab for the high school’s 200 students. Power for the computer lab is being furnish by a large photovoltaic solar array installed several years ago by the European Union.
“We are excited that this project is going to be able to help this many students. Now, these students will be much better prepared once they come to Guam or branch out to other places for further educational opportunities,” said Bill Hagen, Cuthbert director. “We thank GCC and the island businesses that have supported this very worthwhile effort.”
The Cuthbert Project began its efforts in November 2009 with five laptop computers equipped with Rosetta Stone software. Students that used the program have made tremendous progress in learning English, according to officials. Over the past two years the number of laptops purchased by the grant expanded to 15, and today’s container contains an additional 28 Rosetta Stone-equipped laptops.
In addition to the computers and software, the grant has provided cement to repair the roof, new windows, doors, paint, complete electrical wiring, tables and chairs for the students. Residents and businesses on Guam have donated books, encyclopedias, paper, pencils and other school supplies for the effort. A satellite dish and modem will allow the students access to educational opportunities via the Internet.