Pago Pago (June 16, 2016) – Feleti Barstow Public Library and Le Fetuao Samoan Language Center are partnering to host a month of Tech Camps for students in American Samoa. During each of the one-week Tech Camps, students will learn digital media skills, storytelling skills and Samoan language. Tech Camp students will be the first to use brand new iPads and laptops purchased by the library.
Tech Camps are a teaching concept developed by Le Fetuao, based in Honolulu, where students use aps such as Book Creator and Tellagami to write original stories. Childrens’ stories will revolve around the theme “Our People, Our Culture, Our Future”, continuing the theme for this year’s American Samoa Flag Day celebration.
“It is a pleasure to work with Le Fetuao to offer Tech Camps to our youth,”said Justin Maga, Acting Territorial Librarian. “I am really excited about the opportunity for our youth to express themselves through technology and the Samoan language.”
Le Fetuao, a non-profit education organization dedicated to teaching the Samoan language, has been running Tech Camps in Honolulu since 2010.
“Tech Camps will capture our stories in a digital format and make the stories accessible to a worldwide audience,” said Le Fetuao Executive Director and Founder Elisapeta Tu‘upo-Alaimaleata. “In our experience, technology has helped tremendously with youth engagement and empowerment.”
“Tech Camps are an innovative way to teach students 21st century tech skills to tell stories about our island in our mother tongue,” said Le Fetuao Communications Coordinator Alice Malepeai Silbanuz. “I am looking forward to working with our kids and seeing the stories they create.”
The Library and Le Fetuao will be hosting four Tech Camps on July 6-9, July 11-15, July 18-22 and July 25-29. One hundred participants will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis; 25 participants will be served each week. The program is offered free of charge. Interested students in grade 7-12 can register online at the Le Fetuao website: www.lefetuao.com/techcamp/.
Each of the week-long field trips will include an educational field trip that will allow students to learn more about the history, culture, and people of American Samoa. For example, registered Tech Camp students will visit First Lady Cynthia Moliga at the Governor’s Mansion on July 12, 2016 and the ASCC Samoan Language Institute on July 19, 2016.Â Each Tech Camp will conclude with a showcase where students will share the projects they created.
The Tech Camps are being made possible through grant funding from the Feleti Barstow Foundation and in-kind donations from Le Fetuao Samoan Language Center.
Le Fetuao staff will also be training library staff on how to run Tech Camps, with the goal of the Feleti Barstow Library being able to host future Tech Camps during school breaks.