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‘Ketungu Chamorro’ premieres at JKPL

“KETUNGU Chamorro” or Let’s Learn Chamorro, a 10-part  educational and cultural show,  premiered at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library on Saturday.

The event was attended by first lady Diann Torres, Public School System teachers and staff from the Indigenous Affairs Office.

Valentina Rivera, producer and creator of the show, said episode 1 has been posted on YouTube and on her Rivers Pictures’ Facebook page.

The first episode features Jennie Magofna teaching the alphabet in Chamorro. The second segment in the same episode is about preparing red rice and chicken kelaguen.

According to Rivera, they will upload new episodes every Saturday.  “If people don’t have internet, they can still watch the show at the public library,” she said.

Every Saturday,  JKPL will show a new episode. “If you miss an episode on that day, you can still access it anytime in JKPL’s VTC room.”

Rivera hopes that the show will help students learn Chamorro.   “The show is like bringing the classroom to your home,” she said, adding that it will also allow families to learn the language together.

“Let’s Learn Chamorro” instructors Jack Camacho, Jennie Magorna, Elsie San Nicolas, show creator Valentina Rivera, first lady Diann Torres, librarian Emily Van Weerdhuizen, Anna Lizama and Ben Salas of the Indigenous Affairs Office.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio“Let’s Learn Chamorro” instructors Jack Camacho, Jennie Magorna, Elsie San Nicolas, show creator Valentina Rivera, first lady Diann Torres, librarian Emily Van Weerdhuizen, Anna Lizama and Ben Salas of the Indigenous Affairs Office. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

All the instructors on “Learn Chamorro” are teachers with the Public School System’s Chamorro and Carolinian Language and Heritage Studies program: Jennie Magofna of Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School; Ana Lizama,  William S. Reyes Elementary School; and Jack Camacho, Elsie San Nicolas and Steph Mensah of  Garapan Elementary School.

For season 1 of “Let’s Learn Chamorro,” Rivera said they will focus on word comprehension. “The instructors will teach common words and conversational phrases we use daily. It will be very easy and useful.”

Mrs. Torres hopes that the show will help promote the local language.

“We can all see a lot of our young generation using the English language. But most little kids also have iPads or a smartphones, and they can easily access this show,” the first lady said.

“Let’s Learn Chamorro” features Mrs. Torres in the second episode. She will be teaching children Chamorro words using the book she authored and published in 2007.

“Ketungu Chamorro” was inspired by the PSS-sponsored “Finu Chamorro” aired on ABC 7 in 2012, Rivera said. 

The sponsors of “Ketungu Chamorro” are the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, the Indigenous Affairs Office, IT&E, Marianas Variety and Bridge Capital LLC.