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NMC-CREES’ 4H Project Helps Local Schools (August 23, 2010)

The Northern Marianas College Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service’s (NMC-CREES) 4-H program recently donated their assistance to three schools in the CNMI.

Under the 4-H program, 15 participants in the program built a pala pala, or pavilion area, on the Kagman High School campus, and made benches for Tinian High School and Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School.

NMC-CREES Director and Acting Dean of Community Programs and Services Ross Manglona, and 4-H agent Polly Omechalang recently presented the pala pala to Leila Staffler, Vice Principal of Curriculum and Instruction at KHS. Staffler received the donation behalf of the school and KHS Principal Alfred Ada.

The community service activities were part of a project called Positive Reinforcement for Youth Development and Empowerment (PRYDE) that was developed by the NMC-CREES’ 4-H program through a grant from the 2010 National Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) program.

“The PRYDE project was made possible through the excellent grant writing skills of 4-H Coordinator Lawrence Duponcheel,” said Manglona. “I congratulate Mr. Duponcheel and his staff for their continuing effort to increase our service capabilities to the youth in the CNMI.”

The concept of the PRYDE project was based on the principles of the 4-H leadership curriculum and experiential learning through the 2010 CYFAR Summer Camp program. The project aimed to maximize the youth participants’ engagement in the project activities, and to build their self-esteem and confidence.

“Since many of the participants in the program attend KHS, it was suggested that they create something that will benefit the school,” said Manglona. “This was a great idea because these students will return to school, and be able to see something positive that they created, and can be proud of.”

The participants are students from KHS and Tinian High School, who were selected to participate in the program by their respective high school principals. The 4-H program and CYFAR program will continue to serve these participants at their campus sites for the next three years in order to assist in achieving success in high school.

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