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At St. Francis School teaching and, learning extend beyond the classroom"

Sia Soleli Taisipic has so much going for her right now. Not just in the classroom, but everywhere else on St. Francis’ school campus in Yona. And, no, it’s not only her grades, even though she is a straight-A student. “I’m maintaining a 4.0 grade point average,” said the 13-year old Taisipic.

It’s not just her sports achievements either. Taisipic was co-captain of the Crusaders Basketball team during the first quarter, and the setter of their volleyball team in the second quarter. In fourth quarter, she’ll play rugby, her favorite sport, for the last time before moving on to Notre Dame High in Talofofo.

Taisipic and fellow student, Anthony Martinez, are just two Crusaders representing the entire student body that have been taught something so extraordinary at St. Francis School, not just by their teachers, but by the entire faculty and staff members.

From within the classrooms all the way to the school office, the cafeteria and even in the hallways, and from the principal all the way down to school maintenance personnel, the entire team has literally taken upon itself to teach “their children” together. “Not just memorization of facts,” school principal, Bill M. Paulino explained. “But it’s really about instilling in (the students) the love of learning.”

From such love, he added, comes self-learning, or the love of learning on their own without a classroom teacher. And that’s exactly what has been happening at the Yona campus for a few years now. “We call it a miracle because it’s helping our children to be a lot happier in terms of learning,” Paulino said.

Not only is Taisipic grateful and ecstatic about being part of this program, she is actually very eager to learn. “I now love to write essays, poetry and short stories,” Taisipic said excitedly, adding that it’s all because of Paulino’s miraculous initiative, “Literacy Development Program Across the Grades.”