Island Youth

The keiki and `opio of Molokai

Learning Tech Together

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Learning Tech Together

Sixth graders build solar-powered cars in class during the Tech Together program. Photos by Bianca Moragne.

Huddled outside in the hot sun, Kaunakakai Elementary sixth grade students raced solar-powered toy cars that they built in the classroom as part of the two-week Tech Together: Ka Ulu Ana Program.

Tech Together is a 10-day in-class program that delivers science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, to sixth grade students statewide through stimulation and interactive activities. Three Molokai schools, Kaunakakai, Kualapu`u and Kilohana, participated in the program this year with a curriculum focused on renewable and non-renewable energy technology, sustainability and the correlation between Hawaii culture and energy needs, said Vaito`i Tuala, Trainer Two, or lead classroom instructor, when she visited Molokai two weeks ago.…

Fun for the Whole `Ohana

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Fun for the Whole `Ohana

Last Saturday’s Kualapu`u School `Ohana Fun Fair brought crowds of families for a day that included a beauty pageant, fitness challenge, horseback and wagon rides, face painting and art booths, bounce house, and a wide assortment of food and craft booths. The event was a kick-off to the school’s 10th anniversary of converting to a charter model.

The fitness challenge, pictured here, featured age-appropriate obstacle courses in a fun, “everyone wins” race over tables, through tires, into a muddy dunk-tank, and past opihi-picking challenges, all to end with a cooling water slide. The fitness event, through a partnership with Na Pu`uwai, promoted exercise, healthy competition and self-confidence, according to Na Pu`uwai’s Kari Kikukawa.…

Butterfly Garden Tiles

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Butterfly Garden Tiles

Photo by Sri TenCate.

Community Contributed

By Frances Feeter

The butterfly garden at the Molokai Public Library established earlier this year by Chevy Levasa received added adornment on Saturday, Aug. 23.  Thanks to the hard work of keiki and kupuna of the Molokai Art Center who spent many days creating and decorating the creative and unique tiles, the ceramic squares were placed around the butterfly-shaped garden.

Several children were present to lay their tiles around the butterfly-friendly plants that continue to attract these fluttering friends in the heart of Kaunakakai.  Monarchs have been enjoying host and nectar plants of milkweed, cosmos and crown floor. …

Kualapu`u School Receives $50K Grant

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Ho`okako`o and Kualapu`u School News Release

Hawaiian Airlines Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to Kualapu`u Public Conversion Charter School for two new projects essential to the educational achievement of its students: Project Kuka`Ike STEM Education Program and Project Kuakupono Student Support Services Program.

Project Kuka`Ike STEM Education Program is a school-wide initiative to expand STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) for students in Kindergarten through sixth grades. According to Sue Forbes, the school’s Math and Science Curriculum Coordinator, “The goal is to prepare teachers to provide a robust, hands-on STEM education with a focus on the environment and agriculture that the children of Molokai can easily relate to, and which significantly improves their achievement in math and science.”

With the island’s high unemployment and limited resources, and with 84 percent of the school’s student body considered low income, Kualapu`u students and other children on Molokai face unique challenges impacting their education.…

Granting Success

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Granting Success

Momi Afelin (left) and Kawika Gonzales (right). Photo by Bianca Moragne.

When she was in eighth grade, Molokai High junior Momi Afelin wrote her first grant for robotics education. Fast forward three years and she has five successful grants under her belt, with the most recent awarded to the Kaunakakai Elementary robotics program last Friday morning.

“I hope this grant opens the kids’ eyes to all the opportunities that are out there for them in STEM,” Afelin said, referring to science, technology, engineering and math fields

For the last two years, Afelin has volunteered her time as a student mentor after school at Kaunakakai Elementary to help students with their presentation skills.…

College Prep Workshops

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

MHS News Release

In conjunction with the Molokai High School (MHS) Ohana Night activities, MHS is continuing to sponsor college prep workshops for their students. Part one of the two-part series will be held on Oct. 16 in the MHS Library and will start at 6 p.m. The workshop is open to the public. This session is geared for high school juniors and focuses on activities that can be started this year in preparation for college. Seniors who may have recently decided to further their education after graduation and sophomores who would like to get an extra-early start are also welcome to attend.…

MMS Robotics Earns Top Honors at Internationals

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

MMS Robotics Earns Top Honors at Internationals

Season Wrap/Bots/Trophies. Photo courtesy Kumu Kaeo Kawaa.

Community Contributed

By Kumu Kaeo Kawaa

Our Molokai Middle School boys’ team 434K “Kalo Farmers” stepped up and brought home two first place trophies from the VEX International Summer Games on July 10-12 at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Drivers Ilima Ka`awa-Richardson and Kreole Pawn White earned first place for the Robot Skills Champion Award and first place for the Teamwork Champion Award for Molokai.  Drivers Tyreen Tengan-Adolpho and Sherie Kaili from our girls’ team 434M “Menehune Farmers” also co-represented Molokai Middle STEM Robotics at the tournament.

The Robot Skills Champion Award goes to the robot with the highest solo score in the tournament. …

Kualapu`u School Receives Verizon Grant

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Kualapu`u School Receives Verizon Grant

Photo by David Lichtenstein.

Community Contributed 

By David Lichtenstein

Two weeks ago, Bill Hozey from Verizon Communications visited Kualapu`u School to present a $3,900 grant check from the Verizon Foundation intended to develop the school’s third grade science curriculum.

The grant will be used by the charter school’s math and science curriculum coordinator Sue Forbes to train the school’s third grade teachers in hands-on science instruction in the areas of gardening, health and fitness.

“I hope this engenders a love of science in teachers and students,” said Forbes, who will be designing lessons and tests that align with the Next Generation Science Standards.…

Keiki Surf Meet Results

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Molokai Keiki O Ke Kai News Release

Mahalo Molokai for all the donations and aloha for the Molokai Keiki o Ke Kai. A special mahalo to Na Kama Kai, who provided 20 plus free boards for our keiki. A big mahalo to Monsanto and all the families that came out to support our event. Thank you Friendly Isle United Fund for financing the surf meet annually and finally a mahalo to Queen Likiuokalani Children Center for they contributed this year. All our aloha to all the financial donors and the parents and community members who came out to be a part of this year’s events.…

Learn to Stand Up Paddle

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Youth in Motion News Release

Youth in Motion will be starting up their Stand Up Paddling season from Aug. 18 through Thanksgiving this year. If anyone is interested in joining Youth in Motion for the 2014/15 year, please come down to their beach area at the harbor on Thursdays Aug. 7 and 14 at 6 p.m. for sign up and learn more about the program for the coming year. Swimming will also be introduced in September and again in 2015.

Youth In Motion is also encouraging adults and youth who are interested in volunteering, planning, coordinating, writing, photography and filming to participate in the program so that they can assist with the website, newsletters, videos, social media, and bring back the festival, “A Celebration of Youth Opportunities,” “Na Opio Hana Pa`a.”

There are plenty of fun ideas for the coming year to fit the mission statement, “Empower, Equip, Educate, Challenge and Motivate Youth through activities that engage and develop their mental, emotional, creative and physical skills on the land and in the ocean.”

For more information, please contact Clare Seeger Mawae at or 808-336-0946.…