Loto Taumafai showcases abilities at ‘Fiesta’

The diverse abilities of students at Loto Taumafai School for children with special needs will be showcased during a fiesta on Wednesday morning at the school campus in Vaitele.

Loto Taumafai’s Finance and Administrative Officer Leata Toma said the program allows students ages five to 21 to display their talents and abilities. It marks the end of their second term of the school year. 

Students in Year 1 through Year 11 have been excitedly preparing for the show over the last several weeks, Ms. Toma told the Samoa Observer. 

The program’s name is derived from the ‘Silent World Fiesta’ that caters to children who are deaf. 

“Fiesta Day ends Term 2 and the program is to showcase what they know and their abilities with activities and performances,” said Ms. Toma. 

“Our school year is divided into four terms per year and Friday is the last day of Term 2. They have been preparing for weeks. It’s an opportunity for them to showcase their abilities.”

Students at Loto Taumafai are grouped into three levels: 1) Children who can proceed; 2) Children who may proceed and 3) Children who can’t proceed in the classroom, she said.

The children are divvied “according to their abilities,” said Ms. Toma.

The school includes a vocational unit that prepares their adult students for the country’s work force.

“Our vocation unit will show their handicrafts, some of their printings, carvings and drawings,” said Ms. Toma.

“Our motto is ‘no one left behind’ – we are an inclusive school, a special needs school and we try our best to help these children we have. We also integrate some of the M.E.S.C. curriculum.”

Fiesta Day is all about showing the achievements of Loto Taumafai students and the goals they set at the beginning of the Term 2.

“It’s all about their achieved goals and setting new goals,” said Ms. Toma.

Students at the school are faced with various types of disabilities: cerebral palsy, down syndrome, hearing impairments, some are blind and some are challenged with slow development.

Loto Taumafai also operates a Community Disability Services arm that works in the communities to link children with disabilities with learning opportunities.

C.D.S. works with newborns to children five years of age on Upolu and Savai’i.

The community program helps to prepare children for school, which prepares its students for the workforce.

“We help to find them jobs,” said Ms. Toma.

Their Fiesta Day program begins at 9:30 a.m. at Vaitele.

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