Bringing joy to kids on first day of school

Posted on Sep 04 2019


Staff of the CNMI Office of Youth Affairs visited elementary schools on the island yesterday dressed as cartoon characters. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Many of Saipan’s elementary school students were greeted on their first day of school yesterday by cartoon characters such as the Cookie Monster and Mickey Mouse.

With the aim to start the school season in a fun way, the CNMI Office of Youth Affairs partnered with the Lady Diann Torres Foundation to have cartoon characters welcoming the students to their classes.

Monique Sablan, the special assistant for Youth Affairs, said that staff of the Youth Affairs Office dressed up as different Sesame Street characters.

She said the costumes were provided by the Lady Diann Torres Foundation.

“We are there to support and show the kids that they can have a good time, and that they can have a great first day,” Sablan said.

Youth Affairs went to San Vicente Elementary School, Koblerville Elementary School, Oleai Elementary School, William S. Reyes Elementary School, Kagman Elementary School, Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School, and Garapan Elementary School.

The “first day in school activity” was a partnership with the Lady Diann Torres Foundation, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, and the CNMI Office of Youth Affairs.

Sablan also wants children to know that the Youth Affairs Center in Gualo Rai is open after school, and that OYA staff can also help if they need help with homework.

Last summer, from June 24 to Aug. 1, the CNMI Office of Youth Affairs taught over a hundred kids culinary arts, environmental conservation, arts and crafts, and music and arts through its Summer Program at its Gualo Rai Youth Learning Center and Chalan Kanoa Manhoben Center.

After the Summer Program, Youth Affairs shifted to worksheet activities in the morning to challenge the kids to get their minds going again in preparation for school work.

For more information on youth programs and how to volunteer, contact the CNMI Youth Affairs Program at 235-1299 or at

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at

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