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Making Middle School Feel Like Home

Community Contributed

By Kalei “Pumpkin” Moss

When I was in sixth grade, the thought of entering middle school was quite intimidating. This summer, Molokai Middle School (MMS) tried to make the transition for students a little bit easier with a summer program funded by the 21st Century grant program.

The summer program, open to current MMS students and incoming seventh graders, offered classes in academics, physical fitness and arts and crafts.

MMS strove to increase student achievement this summer by challenging learners in various areas of education, especially math and science. Students learned how to properly create a science project, review the scientific process, complete experiments and document research. Students also practiced reading comprehension and writing skills.

In addition to academic classes, the program offered physical fitness classes that incorporated nutrition, weight and exercise concepts with fun team-building activities, which helped the new seventh graders make friends.

Lastly, there were also classes in drama, art and sewing. Beginning and advanced sewing classes were open to the public, and students made their own patchwork pillowcases and were given a binder of sample stitches, helpful hints and other tools that would guide them through future sewing projects. Students also participated in Hawaiian values classes which helped link Hawaiian values such as aloha and laulima–to work together – with everyday practices, past and present. They learned the importance of community, ending the summer with a fieldtrip to clean up a beach and work in a lo`i.

If you are interested in learning more about the 21st Century grant program at MMS, contact Lyn Bonk at 567-6940 or Sandra Czajkowski at 658-0609. MMS was successful in making school feel a little more like home, as confirmed by incoming seventh grader Nikki Augustiro, who said she enjoyed getting to know her soon-to-be classmates. Have fun in school, new seventh graders, it’s the beginning of a new adventure.


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