There was a big celebration at UPI Elementary School this morning.
Guam – “Fuetsa, Ånimu yan Inafa’maolek” – That’s the theme for UPI Elementary School’s Silibrasion Mes Chamoru, which means strength, courage and respect.
Students of all ages dressed in their mestisas and island wear performed in front of the whole class, teaching other students how to sing popular Chamorro songs, recite Chamorro words, and dance the traditional cha cha.
UPIES Principal Rebecca Perez says, “Although we’re all from different cultures and we speak different languages, we are one island and we are one people. We all need to learn to respect one another and always respect our island. We have to make sure we keep our island clean, safe, that we continue to speak the language and honor the culture we have.”
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez was one of the many island leaders that were in attendance for the ribbon cutting of a new awning. Instead of students getting picked up at the front entrance of the school, they now have a designated drop off/pick up station to the side of the school.
He says, “The biggest point of all this is to make sure we keep our students safe. It’s hard to give students an education if we can’t guarantee the safety and security when they come to school. So having an event like this what may seem to some as basic common sense change is really important for me to be assured that we have the leadership and partnership at the schools to take care of this priority along with the department.”
Principal Rebecca Perez says the new awning is a product of team work between UPI’s Parent Teacher Organization and the school’s staff.