In celebration of the Chamorro Cultural Month this April, Tinian Elementary School students from kindergarten to third grade had the opportunity to visit ancient Chamorro sites such as the Taga House and Taga Well.
Students were accompanied by their homeroom and Chamorro Carolinian Language Heritage Studies teachers. Parents joined the students, teachers, and administrators for the event. There were a total of 137 students, eight teachers, and 20 parents who participated in the field trip.
The guest speaker was local historian Don A. Farrell. At first, Farrell was not sure how he could be in front of the students with these ages. He is so used to being in front of older audiences, like veterans and their families, when talking about the Mariana Islands and their people.
This is what Farrell had to say, “To be honest with you, when I arrived at Taga Park and parked my car, I sat underneath one of the big tree in a shade and tried to figure out how to approach this group of students. I am so used to talking to older audiences. So I just let myself think that I am now going to be a teacher in front of these students and secondary as a historian. I made up my mind that today will be the day for our children to learn about their history. After all, today is really a history in the making, since many of these students here are children of my former students and many of the teachers are also my formal students.”
Lou-Connie Manglona said, “I am so amazed on how Mr. Farrell managed to have those students (especially the third graders) keep their attention and asking questions and responding to Mr. Farrell’s questions. Today is truly a great day for this kind of event. Not only that many parents joined us, the event also allowed our students to see first-hand what we all have been discussing in our classroom with our teachers about our culture. The students as well as our parents are now able to better understand and appreciate our culture and heritage.”
In closing, Farrell had this to say to the students, “ I hope many of you here today will go on to finish high school and then go on to college. But most importantly, I hope that some of you will study the history of these islands and their people and then come back to these islands and do exactly what I am doing today. That will make me very happy.”
Back in the classroom, Mrs. Farrell, the CCLHS teacher asked the third graders, “So how do you like the field trip?” One of the students responded, “Is Mr. Farrell your husband?” Mrs. Farrell said, “yes, why?” The student responded, “Because you tell good stories, but Mr. Farrell tells better stories.” (PR)