Dare to be Drug Free!

By Kanoe Davis

Students in grades 3-6 from all of Molokai’s public schools gathered last week Wednesday at the Kaunakakai baseball park to “Dare to be drug free!

Children gathered with school pride as guest emcee Rodney Villanueva cracked jokes and spoke of being drug free.

The day’s events began with the Star Spangled Banner followed by the students of ‘O Hina I ka Malama who sang Hawai’i Pono’i. Following Hawaiian protocol, haumana hula opened the floor with an oli kahea and hula.

Getting the students hyped up, Officer Habuta asked, “Why are you so beautiful?” The kids didn’t say much and little whispers were heard throughout, “…it’s because Molokai is beautiful.” Then the crowd cheered with pride. He encouraged the kids to be proud that they are from Molokai and to keep that wonderful spirit.

Awards for best essay and art were given to students who wrote and created art about being drug free.

Overall winners: Zady Makaiwi (essay) and Kelsey Tanabe (art).
School-wide Winners: Leihiwa Pedro (essay) Kilohana, Cataluna (art) Kaunakakai, Zady Makaiwi (essay) Kaunakakai, Kelsey Tanabe (art) Kualapu`u, Sierra Pico (essay) Kualapu`u, Kamalani Lu’uloa (art) Maunaloa, Elisa Duvachelle (essay) Maunaloa.

All who attended made a pledge to D.A.R.E and they chanted, “I’m proud to be Drug Free!” as guest speaker and Molokai resident Brent Naki came up to give his testimony.

Naki spoke about his battles with drugs and alcohol which he said started at a young age. Many kids appeared dumbfounded as Naki continued to speak of the consequences he had to endure and the fight to be clean again.

“Being a Hawaiian is good, but being a Hawaiian and drug free is even better,” Naki said. The students and crowd went wild, knowing that they too can be proud of who they are and be drug free.


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