MANA ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL DOING GREAT THINGS FOR OUR YOUTH.
Story and Photos by: Seli Moea'i
On hindsight, the huge rock embedded in the ground in the front with the school's name artistically edged into it, should have been a tell-tale sign that behind those walls were some seriously solid learning going on.
"Mana Academy is in it's first year and we have incorporated cultural content into our school and programming which has produced academic success. We have been so fortunate to see what a difference and impact our learning environment has done for our students identity, self-esteem, and ultimately in closing the achievement gap.
Mana Academy is disigned with the express purpose of educating students with curricula that incorporates realms of knowledge, indigenous/native language and a focus on indigenous issues while maintaining a rigorous academic program that is innovative, creative and relevant to the current world".........[excerpt from the Open House flYer].
As I entered the front doors I was greeted warmly by a very friendly young Lady by the name of ANAPESI KA'ILI, who introduced some of the faculty staff and students who were working the Open House greeting Table. She proceeded with the agenda of the day and informations about the purpose of the Open House. It wasn't until she gave me her business card that I realize her title, Executive Director. How cool is that, huh? to be greeted by the Top Gun herself!
I was then afforded the most beautiful most intelligent Escort Guide in the entire school, DR. TELESIA VAINUKU. Okay, Okay, she's not a doctor yet but that's what she aspires to be. I knew this because I sneaked a peek on the Bulletin Board in the hallway that had pictures of students and what their "Dreams" for the future are. I have no doubt that this young lady can achieve her dream.
I went to MANA ACADEMY to scope for future interviews for "Le Malae". But I was very impressed with this Program that I just felt the need to publish this preliminary visit for the good of our community. MANA's 2014 school is coming to a close in June. Their 2015 school year begins in August. For interested parties, MANA has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
Thank you for the hospitality, TELESIA.
To view pictures in Gallery below click on the picture for enlargement.
TELESIA, was a very pleasant and brilliant young lady, she was informative and very thorough. She introduced me to all the Teachers in every classroom, explained every Poster, every Art Work in the school, every Class and their ages, and I don't know how she knew, she even made sure she showed me the Playground, my favorite spot when I was in school at her age, how quaint!
I saw and witnessed the many different Curriculums that the School's agenda was referencing. Please view the Photo's included in this story for clarity. Now, I may just be a little wee-bit bias, but my favorite was the Samoan Culture classroom. Some of the staff for the Samoan Culture includes, LO'I SAGATO, a highly regarded intellectual in the Samoan Culture, Language and Community. Others there were, MS. COOKIE, LITA SAGATO, FINA SCHWENKE and MS. WOLFGRAMM. All are doing an exceptional job in educating our children in these aspects.
Three Samoan Wards throw a "Grand New Years Eve Celebration".
Story and photos by: Seli Moeai.
Three neighboring Samoan Wards in the Salt Lake County Area, combined to throw the Grandest New Year Eve's party in the City of West Jordan.
The Three Ward's in attendance included:
Midvale 2nd Ward under the leadership of Bishop Kalosi Tonumaipe'a and his counselors, Tony Mikaele and Peresitene Afoa.
Heritage 11th Ward under the leadership of Bishop Mani Tua'itanu and his counselors Pama Endemann and Taumafai Sosi.
Highland 8th Ward under the leadership of Bishop Levao and his counselors Hanks Fa'alogo and Tamate Moeai.
The festivities began with a Prayer Service that was held in the Chapel. Then on to
Dinner and Refreshments that was abundant and delicious. Everybody was anxious to show off their dance moves and at the first sound of the music, the Ballroom Floor quickly filled-up with Jolly Happy feet. The dance floor was so crowded that yours truly did not have amble room to really show off all of my Signature Disco Moves to the full extend. Okay, maybe that and the knees.
The DJ music for the evening entertainment was provided by Heritage 11's very own Tyler Fa'alogo. Needless to say, he Rocked it.
The Live Sounds was provided by Utah's Elite Group, "The Mixed Emotions". Band leader Robert Moeai and Lead Singer, Fa'asega Gisa, wowed the crowd into a frenzied hysteria of epic dancing proportions. Other members of the band included lead female singer Ana Maumasi with Aliu Aliu and Paul Afamasaga throwing up some mean sounds on the Keyboards and vocals.
The Suave and Debonair Auro Magalogo Sosi, hosted as MC for the Event. Auro rocked it including a demonstration of the "Watered Down" version of that one dance!!!
Everybody, from Bishops to the young children, all thoroughly enjoyed the grand celebration. Quoting my from-out-of-town Niece Mackenzie Moeai, "that was the best New Years Eve celebration ever, it was so much fun, I am so glad I was there".
At the stroke of midnight, as 2014 arrived, there were hugs and wishes of "Happy New Year" galore. Friends bidding friends, Relatives bidding Relatives best wishes. The moment was so "Love Filled", that but for a brief moment I completely forgot about my knees.
Instead, like my Niece, I am so glad I was there. May the year 2014 bring happiness in everybody's lives. Unfortunately, I cannot promise a smooth and trouble free year. There will be bumps along the way and we will experience some turmoil and travesties. But if I can be of solace to anyone, I do know that we are God's Children, and he has promised us, that if we call upon him, he will say,... "here I am".
A Mother's Farewell message to her Daughter as she leaves on her mission. Teuila Lavea's Daughter Liahona goes to Tulsa, OK.
Salt Lake City's newest addition to the Missionary Force, Liahona Lavea is headed to the Tulsa Oklahoma Mission.
Story by: Seli Moeai with contributions from Teuila Gerber Lavea.
Photo credits: Teuila Gerber Lavea.
"No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a Mother's love. It shrinks not where man cowers and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the
radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star"...Edwin Hubbell Chapin.
A young Salt Lake City, mother, TEUILA GERBER LAVEA, bids a fond farewell to her Mission bound daughter, Sis. LIAHONA LAVEA, in a letter with such sweet accords that it sounded like a beautifully orchestrated symphony masterpiece that even Beethoven would have loved.
"This is my last day with my daughter, LIAHONA LAVEA, before she leaves on a mission. There is so much swirling around my mind because so many of my relatives have been called home to the other side this
past week. Young fathers, Great Grandfather, Aunties.... they all have a work to do and time cannot wait.
This daughter of mine is so special to me. Born on Valentine's Day during a blizzard she came so fast into this world, the doctor nearly missed
the delivery. My husband named her LIAHONA after a golden compass written of in the Book of Mormon, that lead our ancestors through the wilderness.
She is one of the most gifted people I have ever met, a Sterling Scholar, an incredible artist and very committed to her Education and to her beliefs about God. I wanted her to know how proud I am to be her Mother. How lucky and blessed I feel to have had her joyful spirit in my life for the past 20 years.
I wanted to express with all reverence and deepest appreciation, my love for all of the Young Women's Leaders who have made Church such a wonderful experience for LIAHONA. Thank you for your selfless giving
hearts and for many hours of devotion and service. Thanks to her dear friends and relatives for having blessed her life each and everyday.
May God walk with you, my daughter, and guide your every thoughts. May he help you find those souls who seek the warmth of God's light. May he direct your path and send your ancestors to lift you when you feel despair. Know with a certainty that God lives. He loves you. That your work is a sacred work, and that he will be there every minute of everyday.
I love you, beyond time, beyond words, beyond measure"....
TEUILA GERBER LAVEA
Someone once said, a mother is the whisper of the leaves, the flowers that you pick, the frangrance of life itself.
Ammon Tuimaualuga & "Beyond 5". Rocks Provo, Utah.
Story by: Kayleigh Endemann.
November 09, 2013 brought "Beyond 5" to the Utah Valley Convention Center. Beyond 5 is a Positive Vibe Group made up of 4 Palagi's and 1 Samoan. AMMON TUIMAUALUGA is from Long Beach California. His parents are IOSEFA and MICHELLE TUIMAUALUGA.
AMMON, competed against hundreds of musicians to win the spot in the band. The band just completed their Asia 2013 Tour and kicked off their USA Tour in Provo, Utah.
Their music is all about positivity and strength. The band sang to the screaming 500 plus fans and parents admiring the positive message they portrayed through their music.
I had the privilege of speaking with IOSEFA and MICHELLE TUIMAUALUGA about their son AMMON. They were beaming with Pride and Joy as they spoke of how their son was in every way proud to be Samoan. He makes sure to always represent himself and his culture proudly wherever he goes. MICHELLE says, "where ever AMMON is, if he sees a Polynesian person, especially if they are Samoan, he goes right up to them and starts talking to them as if they were old friends."
MICHELLE says that with what little Samoan she knows, she has always made sure to teach to all her children. IOSEFA, reiterated that he makes sure to keep his children grounded by teaching them great values of our culture. And that was pretty evident in the way AMMON carried himself and showed due respect to all his fans.
Keep on the look out for the positive vibes music that this young and up coming group will be bringing to the forefront of the music world.