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Learning All Summer Long

Community Contributed by Kalei “Pumpkin” Moss

This past June, school may have ended for the summer but classes were still being held through the 21st Century Grant program.  Kaunakakai, Kilohana and Maunaloa Elementary Schools all held programs over the summer to help keep our children engaged and learning while school was out.

Kaunakakai Elementary School held classes that included violin with teacher Lauren Fischer, Nutrition and P.E. with teacher Ui Kalani and Space Camp with teacher Kawika Gonzales, who actually attended NASA space training.  Through collaboration with Officer Sonnie Ka`ai with the Molokai Police Department, first through sixth grade students were given the opportunity to not only continue learning what they were being taught in school, but also participate in a leadership class.  One day a week, the students were taught by one of four different members/organizations of the community.  Dan Emhoff representing Akaku taught the student how to create public service announcements; Chris Chow and Roselle Kamaile representing Alu Like spoke on drug prevention; Vicki Boswell and Liz Price from Napu`uwai did a heart guardianship program on nutrition and wellness; and Penny Martin representing Papahana Kuaola spoke on being a good steward of our land by being environmental conservationists.  At the end of the summer programs a Ho`oike was held for students to share with their parents and families the work they had accomplished.

Kaunakakai School also held a special week-long drama class that was open to all island students.  Through the direction of artists from the Maui Arts and Culture Center, the drama students acted, sang and even rapped in a play “Aloha Aina,” which showed the importance of taking care of the land through recycling and going “green.”

This summer the Kilohana School students used their creative sides with arts and crafts taught by Wanda Pascua and drawing and painting with Suzanne Olsson.  They were able to get their hands dirty in horticulture classes taught by Valerie Hart where they learned about gardening with worms and how to care for an herb garden.  Students also learned discipline and hard work in a Kenpo class instructed by Randy Foley, and the basics of playing instruments like the viola, violin and cello with Lauren Fischer.

Through a partnership with the Summer P.A.L.S program and the 21st Century Grant, Maunaloa School offered classes for students as well.  Students learned how to cook healthy snacks with Janna Espaniola and hula instruction with Kahana Deknees.  They also had math and reading classes with Lana Freeman, who taught pre-K through third grade and Wendy Espaniola, who taught fourth through sixth grade.

The 21st Century Grant programs are offered year-round at various schools island-wide and strive to offer classes to our students and community members that will assist them with their future endeavors.  Thank you to all those who participated in the summer programs this past year.   If you or your children are interested in participating in the 21st Century Grant program please contact Joshua Adachi at Kaunakakai School at 553-1730 or Sandra Czajkowski at 658-0609 for more information.


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