Be the change you want to see in this world

"Be the change you want to see in the world."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Do you sometimes experience challenges that worry you beyond belief? Well, life is not perfect, so we’re bound to experience setbacks throughout our journey in life. I know things are easier said than done, but just try to reflect and say to yourself, “No worries here. I am strong, and I will succeed!” In doing so, you will send yourself a motivating subliminal message to SUCCEED! I hope you enjoy and become inspired by the following poem that portrays this stress-free message:

NO WORRIES HERE

Let’s live our life to the fullest,
As hard as it may seem.
No worries here,
It’s as simple as that.
We want happiness, not sadness –
I’m sure you’ll agree.
Challenges are set before us,
Not to merely sulk and complain of,
But rather to make us as strong as can be.
So be strong and wise –
Don’t give up without trying.
Hey, there are no worries here,
For I’m as focused as can be.
I will show the world,
That I will SUCCEED!
©mnrivera

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It’s true that with age comes wisdom, however, that does not mean that someone younger can’t accomplish great things. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too young or too old to become successful, for with hard work, optimism, unity, laughter, hope, and faith in God, you can experience success! You can do anything if you put your mind to it! Here’s a poem that I hope you’ll enjoy regarding the topic of age:

AGE IS BUT A NUMBER

Age is but a number.
It is not an obstacle or barrier;
But it is something which,
Should not really matter.
For the world belongs to anybody who will,
Recognize that now is the time and,
Here is the place to show how you feel.
So regardless of your age,
The world can be yours if,
You take action in every stage
©mnrivera


REACHING SUCCESS
Graduation: Fausto Naputi Rivera III graduated from Saint Francis Catholic School in Yona on May 17, 2008. He received the Young Authors, Illustrators & Storytellers Fair Award and the Mathematics Award for exemplary achievement in Mathematics. He was also acknowledged for participating in the Kashiwa Student Exchange in Japan. He is the son of Fausto and Matilda Naputi Rivera of Yona, grandson of Joaquin and Julia Naputi of Merizo, and Fausto Sr. and Juanita Rivera (both deceased) of Tamuning. Pictured L-R: Sr. Marsha Nededog, principal; Rivera; and Jesse Castro, teacher.


















As we live each day, we should often reflect on how we’re feeling and what we’ve done to make a difference. We should not take life for granted, as it is a gift from God. Thus, it’s important to live life to the fullest, as challenging as it is at times. Just know that no matter what we’re facing, there is a God out there who loves us, and we each have an angel that watches over us daily. Speaking of angels, I hope you enjoy the following poem that covers this very subject:

ANGELIC EYES

Angels are among us now
Giving us a special feeling
Endowed with hope and happiness
Lifting our spirits naturally
In all that we do
Capturing the essence of true virtue.
Each day the angels are watching
You and I
Ensuring that we are safe from harm
So that we may be blessed
With another wonderful day!
©mnrivera

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Although writing for different audiences may require a certain format, keep in mind that poetry is unique and the poems that you write are naturally special, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Essentially, poetry is a work of soulful art. Enjoy the following poem that discusses this very topic:


MY POETRY

My imagination runs wild,
As I grab a pen and write away.
The emotions linger about,
Pushing me to set it free.
It shall be set free in the words that I write.
It shall be set free in the feelings that I express.
It shall be set free, just by knowing it is mine.
My own thoughts,
My own words,
My own feelings --That in itself is poetry,
Whether it is liked by others or not;
I know this to be true,
That as long as it is dear to my heart,
It's as special as can be,
And no one can deny that it is poetry!
©mnrivera
Achievement: Fausto Naputi Rivera III graduated from St. Francis Catholic School on Saturday, May 17, 2008. His parents, Fausto Jr. and Matilda Naputi Rivera, provide him with the support necessary to excel in school. Pictured L-R: Sr. Marsha Nededog, principal; Rivera; and Jesse Castro, teacher.
Teaching Our Young Children Effectively

I firmly believe that taking care of and teaching our young children effectively in the beginning years of their lives can make a world of difference. We must take the lead to guide them in the right path of a successful future. After all, it has been widely proven that the first years of a person's life is the most influential.

Research has shown that if a young child learns to think positive and is interested in school, he or she will achieve academic success. With this in mind, I want to teach our young children to excel and bring out the talents in themselves.

Meeting the needs of the child for the interest of what is best for the child is what effective education is all about. I believe that educators are unique and dedicated individuals who believe in the potential of children and who will not give up on them. Through all the trials and tribulations that educators may encounter, such as dealing with budget constraints, behavior problems, etc. the best teachers always seem to shine through and will have touched the lives of many children, giving the children the disposition that learning is fun. These teachers continue to teach not simply for earning a living, but more importantly because they are interested in the prosperous progress and development of the children. With this in mind, it is no wonder why such teachers continue on, especially when they are appreciated by the students themselves.

In essence, I would like to emphasize that the goal of education is to teach our children in such a way that they learn specific skills needed for life, but that they do so in a fun way. And I can't say enough of how a teacher's attitude towards her students can greatly impact children. We need to be caring, love teaching, be creative, be sincere, be strong, be patient, believe in our students' abilities, and don't give up, because the children need us. Only when we can honestly say that we will be there for the children and guide them through both good and challenging times can we truly say that we have made a difference in their lives.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I was elected as the new President for the SOE Alumni Association. Lois Taitano Gumataotao was elected as the Vice President, Liwanag Dominguez as the Secretary, and Mae Mendiola as the Treasurer. Dr. Lourdes Klitzkie, Professor Emeritus, is the Advisor. You can check out the association's web site at http://soealumniassociation.blogspot.com

SOE Alumni Officers: Pictured L-R: Dominguez, Gumataotao, Dr. Klitzkie, Dr. Rivera, and Mendiola.
ESL Standards Project: Participants in the course LN494/G – Special Studies: Second Language Acquisition through Standard Developments are spearheading the development of Guam’s PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards. The course was sponsored by the Guam English as a Second Language Certification Plus Project, a federally funded Title III National Professional Development grant by the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), U.S. Dept. of Education. Guam ESL Cert+ Project is administered by the Micronesian Language Institute, University of Guam in consortia with the Guam Public School System. The course was co-taught by Dr. Margo Gottlieb from the Illinois Resource Center and Professor Rosa Salas Palomo, Project Director.

Pictured front row from L-R: Faye Camacho Kaible, Melissa Pablo, Margo Gottlieb, Rufina Mendiola, and Teresita Flores. Second Row, L-R: Jocelyn Santos, Marilyn Perez, Marife Fernandez, Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera, Lucy Leon Guerrero, June Taitano, and Cecilia Bermudes. Back Row, L-R: Lorena Montague, Roy Leon Guerrero, Dr. Jose Cruz, Lois Taitano Gumataotao, Zander Refilong, Keith Juarez, Rosa Salas Palomo, and Priscilla C.T. Perez. Not pictured are Gene Dydasco, Kirk Drygas, and Dr. Dan Robertson.
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I’ve been extremely busy in ESL projects for both GPSS and UOG’s Micronesian Language Institute. As long as I know that all my effort will ensure that the needs of our ELLs are addressed, then it’s all worth it. Read the following story I wrote regarding one of the projects I’m involved in:

Resource Guide: Guam English Language Proficiency Standards Developed

We have a diverse community with an increasing population of students who are learning English as an additional language.


To address the needs of our English Language Learners (ELLs), a cadre of educators, namely, GPSS ELL/ESL Standards Cadre 2008, are spearheading the development of Guam’s PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards.


The cadre is enrolled in the course LN494/G, Special Studies: Second Language Acquisition through Standard Developments, which was sponsored by the Guam English as a Second Language Certification Plus Project, a federally funded Title III National Professional Development grant by the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), U.S. Dept. of Education.


Guam ESL Cert+ Project is administered by the Micronesian Language Institute, University of Guam in consortia with the Guam Public School System. The course was co-taught by Dr. Margo Gottlieb from the Illinois Resource Center and Professor Rosa Salas Palomo, Project Director.

To meet U.S. DOE guidelines and to be in compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the cadre designed a resource guide, which provides a detailed assessment of the four language domains (listening, speaking, reading and writing).


The resource guide will assist teachers and administrators in the development of curriculum and instruction. It includes English Language Standards for social, intercultural, and instructional purposes; language arts; mathematics; science; and social studies. They include the following:

• Standard 1: English language learners communicate for social, intercultural, and instructional purposes within the school setting.

• Standard 2: English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic advancement and success in the area of language arts.

• Standard 3: English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic advancement and success in the area of mathematics.

• Standard 4: English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic advancement and success in the area of science.

• Standard 5: English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic advancement and success in the area of social studies.

The English Language Standards, which are aligned with the Guam Public School System content standards, were developed to address the needs of GPSS English Language Learners, close the achievement gap for ELLs, and help ELLs attain English proficiency.

Phase I of the project was conducted by Dr. Gottlieb of the Illinois Resource Center from August 6-10, 2007, to assist project staff and GPSS teachers and administrators begin the process of developing the standards. There were 21 teachers and 1 administrator in this course including participation by the Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and two GEPB members, namely Dr. Jose Cruz and Mrs. Rosie Tainatongo.

Cadre members include teachers from GPSS’ Curriculum and Instruction ESL Cadre, CHamoru language teachers, a PREL specialist, and teachers recommended by Cadre members or expressed a sincere interest in the development of the project.

Phase II took place in January 21-24 at which time participants and Dr. Gottlieb reviewed the first set of English Language Content Standards developed by each grade cluster. After many months and hours of uncompensated work and six drafts later, the cadre publicly presented the resource guide to the Guam Education Policy Board on April 9, 2008, so that it may be adopted for the Guam Public School System, in order for it to be implemented to ensure that our ELLs are able to fully access the curriculum.

It is the hope of the cadre that the resource guide be adopted to further ensure that ELLs attain proficiency in English and meet the same academic and content standards as all students are expected to meet.
Family Literacy: The Rivera Kids were awarded during the Guam Public Library System’s “Hang Out & Read” 2007 Summer Reading Program. Pictured above L-R: Fausto, Joaquin, and Julia Naputi Rivera.
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There’s no doubt that family literacy is essential in today’s society. If we continue to foster family literacy, I have faith that we can make positive things happen in our society. Enjoy the following poem that portrays this very subject:


FAMILY LITERACY

F amily Literacy
A lways will remain
M eaningful as can be
I n this ever-changing society.
L isten, read, write, and learn with each passing day --
Y ou can do it!

L et your life be enriched
I n literacy and beyond because,
T ogether as a family
E verything will naturally work out for the better.
R emember...
A bove all...
C onsistency is the key.
Y ou and I can make positive things happen for Family Literacy!
©mnrivera




Saturday, May 10, 2008

Image source: familyreading.org

As an educator and a parent, I know the importance of reading. I encourage others to motivate their children to read, and to be reminded that reading is the key to get ahead in life. I hope you enjoy the following poem that tells us all about this very subject:

READING IS THE KEY

Reading is the key
To take you to places far and beyond
To capture your heart
To gain a wealth of knowledge
As you journey into an exciting world
Filled with meaningful words
Found in a book
Found in a magazine
Found in a newspaper
Found in a journal
Found in a comic –
Found in anything with print.


Take the time to read.
Read here
Read there
Read anywhere and everywhere
For the stories never cease
And the reading never ends
For the reader with the passion
To read, read, and read!


So if you want to go to worthwhile places
And reach the pinnacle of success
You can possess the winning ingredient
By taking the time to READ!
©mnrivera

Monday, May 05, 2008

The family is considered to be one of the most powerful indicators of success for children. Parents’ literacy skills, along with their attitudes about learning, have an immense impact on their children’s academic achievement. The family is considered to be the venue for the transmission of knowledge, skills, and values from one generation to another.

Family literacy is a way to teach families to read and write so that they can help their children at home. It embraces the intergenerational links which can interrupt the cycle of illiteracy. In an effort to promote family literacy, I’ve created the ABC’s of Family Literacy, which include the following:

ABC's of Family Literacy

A lways take the time to read to your child at home.
B elieve in your child’s ability to achieve literacy success.
C reate a print-rich environment.
D iscover the importance of literacy together.
E ncourage your child to read daily.
F ocus on a positive reading experience.
G rab your favorite book and read!
H andle reading and writing with care.
I nspire your child to read with meaning.
J oin family literacy events.
K eep up the great work!
L isten to your child read.
M ake reading a ritual at home.
N ever give up!
O pen your mind to the wonderful world of reading!
P repare your child for literacy success.
Q uality time is essential. Make time for it.
R ead and write with enjoyment.
S et a good role model.
T alk about the books you are reading.
U se prior experience and knowledge to enrich your child’s reading.
V isit the library or bookstore and select an age-appropriate book to enjoy reading.
W ear a SMILE!
X out and conquer all obstacles.
Y ou can make a difference!
Z oom in on literacy strategies to enhance reading.


Family literacy is important in our ever-changing society. Our children must listen, read, write, and learn each day, so that their lives can be enriched in meaningful literacy. There’s no doubt that when family literacy is strengthened, our children’s literacy skills will increase.


Family Literacy Web Site Resources:

Pictured below: The Rivera Kids were awarded during the Guam Public Library System’s “Hang Out & Read” 2007 Summer Reading Program. Pictured L-R: Fausto, Joaquin, and Julia Naputi Rivera.

Lois and I presented a Family Literacy Workshop during the Professional Leadership Conference 2008 titled, “Silebrasion I Familian Guahan – Celebrating the Families of Guam.” The conference was hosted by the Guam Child Care and Development Association, UOG’s School of Education Early Childhood Program, and the Association for Childhood Education International on April 19 & 20 at the School of Education. We received a certificate of appreciation for presenting at the conference.

Pictured below L-R: Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera and Lois Taitano Gumataotao.


As an ACEI Advisor, I participated in the UOG hosting of Dr. Kathryn Takara, associate professor from the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Dr. Takara was the keynote speaker in Saipan for the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday celebration. She visited the UOG School of Education, where she was honored with an evening fiesta sponsored by two SOE student organizations, the Association for Childhood Education International and Future Educators of Guam Association. PDN publication: http://www.guampdn.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080

Pictured below sitting from left: Dr. Mary Jane Miller and Dr. Jacqui Cyrus, SOE professors; Takara; Dr. Marilyn Jackson, Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera, and Dr. Lou Ferrer, SOE professors. Second row, from left: Audrey Certeza, FEGA public relations officer; Vanessa Perez, FEGA president; Dr. Patrick Leddy, SOE Executive Director; Anna Wignarajah, Montessori House of Children in Harmon; Jovonne Aguon, ACEI president; Jennifer Blas, ACEI vice president; Myleen Ramos, ACEI secretary; Melissa Hernandez, ACEI and FEGA member; and Veronica Ramirez, ACEI treasurer. In back, from left: Fred Jackson; and Jessica Candaso, FEGA secretary.

As challenging as life is at times, remind yourself that all things are possible for those who believe. I hope the following poem will enlighten you on this topic. Enjoy!

LET US FIND THE WAY

Let us find the way,
As hard as it may seem.
These fierce emotions I feel,
Are bending and twining me.
I want to be free;
Please let it be--
Can't stand this feeling of melancholy.
As I open my eyes,
I am burdened in deep stings;
That rush through my veins,
Stabbing my heart with no remorse.
Then lo and behold?
I hear those words saying,
"Let us find the way."
Am I hearing right?
Is there really a way to that special light?
A light that shines bright,
Ever so genuine and heavenly-filled.
Lo and behold?
There is such a light!
You grabbed my hand,
You touched my soul,
You touched my heart,
And never did let go.
You told me that we would find that way,
If I could only see within myself,
That a stinging heart is not forever;
For I can be happy--
I can fly freely;
As free as the heavenly angels that fly;
As free as the wind that blows in the air;
As free as the water that runs in our seas.
To be free is to live freely,
Without worries that depress our souls;
We need to see the light and open our minds,
To the beauty embedded within each of us;
For that is the essence that will help us find the way;
The essence of life as it ought to be!
©mnrivera

Lois and I presented an ESL writing workshop during the International Reading Association Read-A-Thon 2008 “Get Carried Away with Reading” professional development workshop held on Feb. 8 at the Guam Hotel Nikko. We received certificates of appreciation from the organization in recognition of service and valuable contribution. PDN publication: http://www.guampdn.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080312/LIFESTYLE02/80311030

Pictured below L-R: Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera and Lois Taitano Gumataotao.

There's no doubt that we can all make a difference in this world. I hope the following poem will enlighten you on this subject.

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Do your best

In all that you say

In all that you do

To make your life worth living

To make a difference in the lives of others.

Realize that you're important to someone

And your genuine help from the kindness of your heart
To pick up others when the odds are stacked up against them
Gives them hope when they have none.

Remember…

If you help out others with no expectations in return
Then your life will be enriched with abundant goodness
And perhaps one day someone will be there for you too.

Living life right
Sacrificing even it hurts so much
Taking on meaningful challenges that may stab your heart a bit at times
All the while striving to be on the side with one's angel
Whom absorbs the goodness of your beautiful soul
Enables you to live a life that matters.

Keeping up the faith
Working as brothers and sisters
To make this world a better place
Moves a nation and heals our souls -
Tis the power of unity!

Remember that beauty is not dependent on your looks or wealth
But who you are deep within -
A remarkable and beautiful person filled with so much love to spread
Filled with inspirational momentum
To help others because you truly do care
Because you know it's the right thing to do
To make a difference!

And though you're hurting
Though your life is filled with strife that strikes your gentle soul
Sometimes you have to let things go even if you’re hurting deep inside.
You have to release your hold
And let things be
Because maybe it was never meant to be.

Sometimes you have to realize that you can’t take things for granted
Because when you least expect it
What you thought you had can be suddenly stolen
As if someone pulled the carpet fast from under your feet.

You have to hold your head up high even if you would rather cry.
You see, life can be very cruel
And it won’t get any better
Unless you move on with your life
Cut your losses
Invest in hope and faith
And with each day you’ll get stronger, and stronger, and stronger…

Grasp and gain the strength from deep within and trust in God
To live a life that makes a difference -
Tis the wonderful gift of life!
So join me, if you will and
Let's live a life that matters

Because together…

We can make a difference!

©mnrivera