SIS celebrates the Marianas

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(Saipan International School) — For the months of January and February, SIS has been playing host to a great group of exchange students from Korea.

As part of this program, Kindergarten-Grade 6, added interdisciplinary units on the history, geography, and culture of the Mariana Islands in addition to their regular units of study. Through hands-on activities, guest speakers, and field trips, everyone participated and learned more about our beautiful island home.

SIS students guests, learned about plate tectonics, the ring of fire, and how the Marianas Trench and the Mariana Islands were formed. They studied the history of the Chamorro people, learning about important foods, dances, and words. Students participated in several cooking activities, taste-testing, and the upper elementary students even learned to dance the fire dance and other special dances. Students also learned about the native wildlife on the island - the incredible diversity of species that calls our islands home and how we can all help protect it everyday. Guest speakers from the CNMI Division of Coastal Resources Management taught the students about our coral reef system, it’s history and formation, and the work that is being done to preserve it for future generations.

Contributed photo

Throughout our special program, SIS has also been taking advantage of the rich offerings our island has to offer. The school scheduled three field trips in January. First up was the Northern Marianas Islands Museum where they learned about the various histories of the islands — the Chamorro and Carolinians who first came here, the Spanish period, the German period, the Japanese period, the Trust Territory/U.N. period, and finally modern history when the CNMI became a U.S. territory. The students loved to see the artifacts on display. On that same trip, they also visited Sugar King Park, where they learned about the history of sugar cane on the island. SIS held our mid-year Sports Day at Ada gym, enjoying a full day of running, jumping, and other sports outside in the sun. The students and guests competed side-by-side in 12 different events to test their physical ability and endurance. SIS ended January with a full-day celebration at Micro Beach, with everyone swimming and playing in the sand. The school teamed up with Sister Stella from Maturana, who provided a delicious catered lunch for the entire student body and faculty.

The fun and learning will continue in February with a second wave of guest students. More activities and trips are planned to compliment SIS’s “Welcome to the Marianas!” program.

It’s great to have such strong partnerships with our community resources! SIS loves to support our local businesses and people and we are looking forward to making this year’s program an annual event.

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