Unification News for May 2002

9th Grade Educational Program in Micronesia

Kathy Sabo

This September, we will be accepting up to 10 (2nd generation) 9th graders in Pohnpei (part of the Federated States of Micronesia and one of many islands in the Pacific). 8th Grade students will be accepted if they feel confident to start High School courses.

Our school year will start on September 9th and finish on June 2nd. The "Sample of the Curriculum" (below) shows what courses we will have and what high school credits are suggested for each. Although there are a total of 8 credits, many of the activities could be considered fun and there still is ample free time. The "Tentative School Schedule,", below, will give you an idea of the daily schedule. We will have a couple of weeks off school for the Christmas/God's Day holidays and then another week off in the spring. If you are interested, contact itpn@sprynet.com. ASAP. Your questions and comments are also welcome.

We will be doing service projects in different areas of Pohnpei or nearby islands. We will see what is needed and what the students desire and are capable to do and then make the schedule together. We are scheduling one day a week to have a free computer class at the library computer room. Some other ideas we have are: A day of teaching music, art, cooking, or sports; construction, painting etc.; giving gifts to other schools or organization (Many times the Japanese missionaries have brought musical instruments and school supplies to distribute. We have also done book drives for the libraries.); a Free Teens Workshop.

Another wonderful feature of this area is Ocean Challenge. We now have two 28 feet Good Go Boats. The students will take turns going out on the boats and it will be voluntary.

Besides the academic and boating aspects of our program, we will have the opportunity to go on some field trips both on the island of Pohnpei as well as other nearby islands. Micronesia is a beautiful island and the people are known for their goodness. What makes Micronesia so attractive to foreigners is the fact that it is not as developed as other nations. At the same time, there isn't as much to do in the way of museums, theme park attractions, skating parts, etc.. The hobbies here tend to be people, music, sports, or nature oriented. Our sons missed the yearly baseball team sports but realized if they went over to the park with a ball and bat, kids would come and they would quickly fill the teams and have a good game.

Life is simple here but there is a certain pleasure to be experienced in that simplicity. For instance, a person's appearance or material wealth doesn't hold as much emphasis here. The people here are very family and people oriented and there is deep respect for elders and much caring for the younger.

Costs: $375 x 9 months for room, board, field trips, and fishing expenses. (Three payments of $1125 can be paid by September 1st, December 1st, and March 1st). Registration Fee $350 must be paid by August 1st (Includes Book Fee and other school supplies and equipment). Airfare from the US to Pohnpei is between $1,100 - 1,500 round trip. We usually have a stopover in Honolulu. It would be best to go as a group from San Francisco. Almost all medical services and prescriptions are provided (via US Contract agreements) for all students. There are minor costs for dental or weekend doctor visits. ($1 - $20)

Other Notes: English is the official language although each island has its own native language. US dollars and the US postal service are used here. However, the letters sent from here must be stamped with Pohnpeian stamps. (So don't bring your US stamps.)

The Pohnpeian style for ladies is long cotton flowery skirts that can be purchased or made here for $5 - $15 dollars. The men's really nice "Hawaiian" shirts can be hand made for between $15 - 20 depending on the material.

The food here is a combination of American, Japanese, Korean, and Australian food. There are no fast food restaurants but they do sell homemade "take out" food.

We will have a strict policy about alcohol, drugs, smoking, or dating (including the use of local bettlenut chewing or drinking sakau). Anyone found having any of these problems will be strictly dealt with and more than likely will not be able to continue the program.

There is one movie theater in town. Sometimes there is a good movie. Depending on the time, the movies range from $3 - $5

This summer, Pohnpei is hosting the Micro Games (Island Nation type of Olympics). In preparation for this, two modern baseball fields are being built as well as a new tennis court, Olympic size pool, basketball court, and a track and field. Also, a new modern Chinese style gymnasium has just been completed.

This island is very small and most people know everyone else. We as foreigners (and as FFWPU members) have to really set a good example because we are noticeable and young people really want to be like "Americans." Word gets around fast here which can be either good or bad. If it's good, the elders in the families will do everything they can to get the young people to listen to us because they are very concerned about the future.

Our hope is to be the best example!

Sample of the 9th Grade Curriculum.

World Religion and Cultures (1 full credit): View of the Principle contains a comparative study of different religions, explanations of religious terms, background information to church traditions and ways of religious life, numerous testimonies of experiences in a life of faith, and a study of the responsibilities of different peoples and nations.

By teaching universal principles and values, My Journey in Life seeks to help those in their early teens to develop their heart and character, emphasizing the importance of mind/body unity, the development of the conscience, and sexual purity. As a support, it includes the moral and ethical teachings of the world's great religious traditions, which are at the root of most of the world's cultures.

World History (1 full credit): The "Story of Mankind" book, providing the foundation for this course, is written in a way similar to a grandfather explaining history to his grandson. This course is a broad introduction to world history from Ancient Egypt to the 20th Century. Novels, CD's and videos from different periods in history will be read or viewed in order to participate in the adventure, drama, joy, and heartache that real history provides. Course includes the use of timelines, research projects, presentations, and discussion.

There will be a project every five weeks based on the different time periods in history. The workbook includes an extensive list of subjects for each time period and numerous general and specific ideas for the projects. Each project will have both a written report and some kind of presentation for the other classmates. It is hoped to be fun and educational.

Computer (1/2 credit): Mavis Beacon - 1 hour a week. Internet Research and Typing up Reports. Microsoft Office Lessons - 1 hour a week

Algebra I (1 full credit): We chose one of the best Algebra curriculums on the market today. VideoText Interactive is an innovative company that is blazing new trails in math education. Algebra: A Complete Course is a video-based interactive new way to learn Algebra, and students love it! Its main components are videos and a Work Text, but unlike books that just have a video supplement, in this case the videos ARE the textbook! With animated video instruction, the student will actually enjoy watching the textbook concepts develop right on the screen. Chapter and unit tests assure that the material is understood. This program is very thorough.

English I (1 full Credit): Vocabulary, writing, grammar, and reading comprehension worksheets will reinforce the English language development as well as reading, researching, developing study skills and making presentations in other subjects.

Drawing and Art History (1/2 Credit): Mark Kistler Draw Squad is a basic but wonderfully inspiring skill-building course composed of 30 developmental lessons. Besides the basic skills, ten key words of drawing are demonstrated. These ten key words are: Foreshortening, shading, surface, size, contour lines, density, shadow, overlapping, attitude, and daily application.

Art projects and art history will be included as part of the World History Curriculum.

Boating and Sports (1 full Credit): Ocean Challenge enables people to gain experience in boat-related work, and to learn about nature and natural resources. They use the ocean, fishing and boating experience to build self-confidence, teamwork, courage, cooperation, self-control, patience, ingenuity as well as many other essential skills, in the challenging natural environment of the ocean. Overall this is an excellent way to teach character development and leadership.

Students will have the choice of playing soccer, taking tennis lessons (the second level has tournaments), or doing other sports of their choice.

Introduction to the Sciences (1 full Credit including lab): This course is divided into four sections: Introduction to Physics, Biology, and Chemistry: Basic concepts, principles, and elements are taught for these three key sciences. The workbook includes vocabulary, definitions, questions, answers, lab assignments, and more; Lab: The lab experiments are based on the Introduction to Physics, Biology, and Chemistry plus a special focus on analysis and lab reporting; Study of human anatomy through reading and filing in color pencil drawings; Zane Publishing Power CD's: Presentations (and Quiz) Topics: Amazing Coral Reef, Oceanography, Oceans, Understanding Weather and Climate, The Universe, The Earth, Ecology I & II, Earth's Natural Resources, Life Science Patterns, Plants and Animals, and The Five Kingdoms of Life.

Korean Study (1 full Credit): Using the Rosetta Stone CD course, the students are taught by total immersion into the language. It has been proven successful and the complete CD is equivalent to a full college year course. If the student completes half the program during this year, it will be equivalent to a full high school year course.

Rosetta Stone's program is attractive because it is motivating. The program mimics what one would experience in Korea except for the fact that the "speakers" can keep repeating themselves with the click of a mouse until the words are understood. The photos are interesting and the program is like a game that one competes with oneself without excessive pressure. Most important, it teaches the language without translation but uses pictures. The tutor shows you what the pictures or sentences mean and then you try to guess the right picture or phrase. It really works. For a sample, look on the web under Rosetta Stone Foreign Language Program and click on Korean.

If you are interested, contact itpn@sprynet.com.

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