ʻOLUʻOLU AND RESILIENCE

E ʻoluʻolu i ka mea i loaʻa. #367

Be contented with what one has.

Pukui, Mary Kawena, (1983). ʻŌlelo Noʻeau

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: ʻOLUʻOLU

When we decided to have Aloha serve as the foundation of our school wide behavior expectations, one of the criticisms I heard was, “Aloha doesn’t solve all our problems. It won’t stop kids from bullying.” It was as they were implying that practicing Aloha was seen as a sign of weakness; a feeble shield against a slew of arrows…or perhaps a soggy apology compared to a merciless, belittling tongue lashing.

Yet, as an educator of 31 years and a father of young adults, I have seen the longterm after effects of discipline without Aloha. I have also witnessed the transformative power of aloha in both adults and students. But, Aloha is a discipline. It takes practice and intention. And when applied correctly, it empowers the victim while educating the offender. 

Several years ago, two students approached me, complaining that their classmate was bullying them. While their teacher was working with other students, the classmate would surreptitiously kick them and say things to intimidate them. At first I attempted to use traditional forms of discipline: detention, scolding, suspension. However, none of these practices seemed to have an effect as the incidences continued after temporarily pausing following each punishment. Finally, I decided to attempt a different approach.

I gathered the three students and had a conversation. The two who felt bullied shared how they were made to feel. The classmate then shared that he didn’t know why he picked on others and seemed to imply that he couldn’t control his impulses. When asked what the classmate could do to make things right, they both said they wanted an apology and a promise never to do it again which the classmate readily did. However, I suspected he could not keep that promise. So I asked all parties if we could do something to assist the classmate in keeping his promise. They agreed and we came up with a system where we would meet every week and rate the classmate’s demonstration of his promise. After meeting weekly for the remainder of the year, the classmate stopped picking on the two students, or any other students for that matter.

Nothing punitive was needed to change behavior. But the two students needed to feel like they had control over what was happening. By having voice and providing feedback, they were no longer victims. By receiving feedback and seeing the two students as empowered individuals, the classmate was able to control his impulses to pick on others. All experienced ʻoluʻolu the gentle, yet strong backbone of Aloha. The two students stood up for themselves and were honest in their weekly ratings. The classmate was not belittled or shamed. Instead, he was given the information he needed to improve, for which he became proud to do by the end.

Uncle Pono Shim once told me that Aloha is not a weapon to wield against others. It is kind, compassionate, and patient – but it is certainly not weak. Anything unbreakable such as Aloha can never be weak.


5 PURSUITS of ʻOLUʻOLU:

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

In honor of this week’s STEM Hōʻike, please watch The Most Magnificent Idea written and illustrated by Ashley Spires. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Share with you ʻohana about your STEM Hōʻike project and how you needed to persevere through failures and mistakes as you attempted to come up with a solution.
  • SKILLS: Provide examples from the story that demonstrates the girl’s perseverance.
  • INTELLECT: Research inventors who are from Hawaiʻi and how they changed the world.
  • CRITICALITY: Think of a ʻMagnificent Idea’ that can improve our community and help others be safe and thrive.
  • JOY:  As an ohana visit a Makerspace for keiki either at the Liliha Public Library or at Vivstop Honolulu (offers free membership).

HEARING HEALTH – ACT NOW TO PREVENT PERMANENT DAMAGE

Did you know that 1 in every 8 kids between the ages of 6 and 19 already have hearing damage from loud noises? Especially while your children are young, you can prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and avoid permanent damage to their hearing.


CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Tue, Apr 16Optional K-5 Spring Pictures & 6th Grade Promotion Pictures
Fri, Apr 19 2:10 – 3:05 PM STEM Hōʻike Ohana Visitation
Apr 22 – May 10Smarter Balance Assessment testing
Fri, May 3Waiver Day – No Students
Sat, May 118:30 – 11:30 AM Campus Beautification
Fri, May 17May Day

LŌKAHI AND THE NEED FOR ATTENTION

He waiwai nui ka lokahi #977

Unity is a precious possession

Pukui, Mary Kawena, (1983). ʻŌlelo Noʻeau

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: LŌKAHI

Did you know that April is World Autism Awareness Month? It is also National Humor Month, National Poetry Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, and Distracted Driving Awareness Month along with a slew of other observances for the month of April. With so many causes vying for attention, it can be difficult for any one to emerge and gain recognition. But maybe focusing all our attention on one is not the point. Maybe our attention goes to what is pertinent in any given instance.

Ryan rarely spoke up in class. He often sat quietly with his head down, avoiding eye contact. His demeanor paled when compared to that of his classmates. Albert would not sit still and rarely stopped talking to his neighbors. Rob constantly pounded his chest, asking others, “What you looking at?” Peter sat front and center, stared at me as he made a string of snarky comments, eliciting snickers from the rest of the class. Ashlyn too possessed a wealth of sarcasm, but laced it with all the correct answers to every question I asked. 

As a first year teacher, it took me a while to figure out that I shouldn’t divide my attention. At first, I struggled to make everyone happy…a fool’s journey. I couldn’t extinguish every fire as it erupted. As soon as I got Albert to sit and listen, I had to break up the brewing fracas between Rob and Peter. If I tried to acknowledge Ashlyn’s contributions, Peter took offense and began wising off. Meanwhile Ryan faded into the background.

Eventually, I realized that what all of my students wanted was attention. They wanted to know that I cared and was willing to work with them. Because of their personalities, this didn’t occur all at once, but everyone was given their time. While they worked on their assignments, I’d sit with each. I found out about their families, their dreams, and their talents. This was not a cure all, Ryan still remained quiet, Albert hyper, Rob belligerent, Peter mocking, and Ashlyn condescending. However, I was able to get my students to care a bit more and learn.


5 PURSUITS of LŌKAHI:

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch Emile and the Field written by Kevin Young and illustrated by Chioma Ebinama. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Talk with your kupuna about a special place you and your family treasures.
  • SKILLS: The author uses different examples of figurative language to show the beauty of the field. Identify several examples of figurative language in the book.
  • INTELLECT: Research Prince Kuhio’s efforts to establish a Hawaiʻi National Park, preserving the volcanoes of Hawaiʻi and Haleakala as natural historic landmarks.
  • CRITICALITY: Emile’s father tells Emile, “Though they too love it, if we share, and learn to take care, it means the field will be here forever.” How might we help others learn to take care of the places special to us in our community?
  • JOY:  Participate in a clean-up of a special place in our community such as Luluku Farm (Aina Aloha o na Lima Hana) which occurs on the first Saturday of each month. Other community clean-ups can be found at https://808cleanups.org/calendar/.

HOʻOMAIKAʻI BRYSON & NIXON 

Please join me in congratulating and showing appreciation to Nixon Ihu and Bryson Tanji for representing Kāneʻohe Elementary well at the Hawaiʻi State Science and Engineering Fair. Their project, the Tako Box, utilized the Engineering Design Process in innovating a tool used to hunt octopus.  Mahalo nui loa for making us proud

MAHALO KES OHANA FOR A SUCCESSFUL CLOTHING DRIVE 

While we still have yet to find out how many pounds of clothing we collected, I would like to thank all of our community for cleaning out their closets and making a donation to our school. In the end, it certainly looked like we exceeded the 3000 lb minimum! Regardless if we did or not, the donations will be put to good use, helping those in need. Further, our volunteers from our KES Ohana throughout the week and on Saturday, assisting with the collection certainly showed how dedicated they are to our school. We certainly owe them a debt of gratitude!

IT SURE LOOKS LIKE PHONES ARE MAKING STUDENTS DUMBER

Continuing with a series from The Atlantic, a report from the Program for International Student Assessment, found three factors that are causing a global decrease in test scores:

“students who spend less than one hour of “leisure” time on digital devices a day at school scored about 50 points higher in math than students whose eyes are glued to their screens more than five hours a day.”

“screens seem to create a general distraction throughout school, even for students who aren’t always looking at them…students reported feeling distracted by their classmates’ digital habits scored lower in math”

“nearly half of students across the OECD said that they felt “nervous” or “anxious” when they didn’t have their digital devices near them. (On average, these students also said they were less satisfied with life.) This phone anxiety was negatively correlated with math scores.”

“Studies have shown that students on their phone take fewer notes and retain less information from class, that “task-switching” between social media and homework is correlated with lower GPAs, that students who text a lot in class do worse on tests, and that students whose cellphones are taken away in experimental settings do better on tests. As Haidt, a psychologist, has written in The Atlantic, the mere presence of a smartphone in our field of vision is a drain on our focus. Even a locked phone in our pocket or on the table in front of us screams silently for the shattered fragments of our divided attention.” Read the full article here.

CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Fri, Apr 19, 2024 2:10 – 3:05 PM STEM Hōʻike Ohana Visitation
Apr 22 – May 10Smarter Balance Assessment testing

AKAHAI AND “WHITE GLOVES”

Mai kū me ka hō’olo, akā e kū me ke akahai.

Don’t stand in an air of superiority, but stand in modesty

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: AKAHAI

Sometimes, when I think of Akahai and how I might improve in my practice, it’s useful to reflect on my failures and what I would’ve done differently. Many years back when I first started teaching at Kailua High, I had a student whose behaviors posed a significant challenge. Yet, beneath the disruptions and inappropriate comments, I could see that he had a proclivity towards learning science. He had a way of making connections between abstract concepts and real life. For example, I’d show the class how light waves could add or subtract depending on their alignment. He’d sit back and think before excitedly blurting how he’d seen something like that happen at the beach. He’d watched waves reflect off of the sand and crash into an oncoming waves, sometimes shooting water upwards towards the sky. 

I think his insightfulness and natural genius was what I found most frustrating. For every step forward in learning, we took three steps back when he showed obstinance and made outbursts. Had I been more thoughtful and aware, I might have noticed that his behavior got especially worse when reading was involved. I should have taken the time to observe him more carefully, listen to his story, understand his struggles, and provide the support he needed. As a beginning high school teacher, I assumed that all the kids could read and comprehend. Hence, when I saw him display his gifts in class discussions following a lab or demonstration, I wrongly supposed those gifts would be consistent when told to read an article or the textbook. In attempting to correct his behavior, I certainly did not treat him with “white gloves.” Instead, I most likely triggered him with both of us leaving the situation frustrated, incensed and in his case, feeling that’s just one more adult who doesn’t care.

Today, I strive to right those wrongs of my past. When a student is referred to the office for behavioral concerns, I take time to listen and be attentive to the entire context. I suppress the urge to quickly solve the immediate problem of misbehavior and instead look to treat the student with “white gloves” so that we may solve problems for the longterm. 


5 PURSUITS of AKAHAI:

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch Queen of Physics How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom  written by Teresa Robeson and illustrated by Rebecca Huang. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Wu Chien Shiung’s baba named her. Discuss with your kupuna who gave each you your names. What meaning is behind your names?
  • SKILLS: What are examples from the book that show Wu Chien Shiung and her parents practiced akahai?
  • INTELLECT: What is physics? Research and identify some of the everyday examples of physics.
  • CRITICALITY: Wu’s name means “courageous hero.” How did she exemplify her name and continue to be courageous in the face of discrimination and hate?
  • JOY:  Wu Chien Shiung studied the atom which is comprised of protons, electrons, and neutrons. Be like Wu Chien Shiung and explore how electrons and protons can be used to control a metal can. 

KINDNESS ROCKS

Mahalo nui loa, parent Erin Battles and our Wellness Committee for creating an Akahai Rock Garden in the front of our office. Thanks to Erin and an H-PEP SPARK grant, each student will write something kind on a rock that will be featured in the garden. Students will think of something they would like to say to someone else, something someone’s said to them, or something they wish someone would say to them and put that on their rock. Ohana will have the opportunity to write their wishes of kindness as well at our Kindness Rocks night on Thursday, April 4.

PHONES, GAMES, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND THEIR DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS ON KIDS

According to a new article from The Atlantic, “Something went suddenly and horribly wrong for adolescents in the early 2010s. By now you’ve likely seen the statistics: Rates of depression and anxiety in the United States—fairly stable in the 2000s—rose by more than 50 percent in many studies from 2010 to 2019. The suicide rate rose 48 percent for adolescents ages 10 to 19. For girls ages 10 to 14, it rose 131 percent.”

Further, “the problem was not limited to the U.S.: Similar patterns emerged around the same time in Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, the Nordic countries, and beyond. By a variety of measures and in a variety of countries, the members of Generation Z (born in and after 1996) are suffering from anxiety, depression, self-harm, and related disorders at levels higher than any other generation for which we have data.”  

Even here in Kāneʻohe, since the pandemic, we noticed students are getting into more disputes that start on-line, suffering from less resiliency, and having trouble navigating social situations. Still we are constantly asking students to put their phones away when they could be spending time with friends. Read “END THE PHONE-BASED CHILDHOOD NOW” to learn about the problems phones, games, and social media causes for our kids and what we can do to reverse the effects.

CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Thur, April 4, 20246 – 7 PM A Night of Kindness – presented by our Wellness Committee
Sat, April 6, 20248 – 11 AM KES Ohana Clothing Drive Fundraiser
Fri, April 5, 20245 – 8:30 PM 6th Gr Movie Night
Fri, Apr 19, 2024 2:20 – 3:50 PM STEM Hōʻike Ohana Visitation
Apr 22 – May 10Smarter Balance Assessment testing

AHONUI AND DISCONNECTING

‘A’ohe hua o ka mai’a i ka la ho’okahi #143 

Bananas do not fruit in a single day

A retort to an impatient person

Pukui, Mary Kawena, (1983). ʻŌlelo Noʻeau

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: AHONUI

My friends and I leaned our backs against a hollow-tile wall crouching in the middle of a line that stretched around the corner, the beginning no where in sight. We had been waiting since sunrise, with the hope of getting into the first show.  But dozens of people camped out from the night before, something our parents would have never allowed. Even if we miss the first show, but catch the second or third, soon our three year wait would be over.

It seemed like an eternity since we last saw Star Wars at this very same theater, The Cinerama. As a third grader, Star Wars captured my imagination as also it enthralled all of my friends’. The year it came out, every summer birthday party I attended featured going to the Cinerama to see it. Back then, there were no streaming videos and no on-demand movies. Once it left the theater, you probably wouldn’t see the movie again. So when the news broke that a second installment was forthcoming in three years, my friends and I felt a mixture of excitement and frustration. Three years to an eight year old is an eternity. But at least we could cling to the hope that our imaginations would once again be set alit when the sequel premiered.

Finally, the wait was nearly over and my friends and I concocted a plan to see it on the day of its debut. As early as our parents would allow, we caught the bus into town and merged into an already lengthy line. As we waited, we talked about the last film, shared our predictions, and mostly sat in long periods of silence. Keep in mind handheld electronics and mobile phones were years away from being invented. All we had to keep us occupied were coins, playing cards, string, and our imagination. Time passed differently in those days.

Today, my children have no concept of what it means to wait like this for something to happen. In some ways this is a good thing. They can create their moment. They have more power over what occupies their time. Heck, I am thankful I can watch any of the Star Wars movies whenever I like and wherever I am at the moment. But in other, more significant ways, this limits us. We can’t create every moment nor can we control all variables. A banana still operates on its own time. We can’t point our electronics at it to get it to ripen…at least not yet.  Hence, it’s valuable to get out in the real, analog world where we are forced to practice waiting and observing to determine the right time to act. Ahonui requires us to be mindful of others and also of ourselves. It has us using our observations to inform our naʻau, our gut, to determine when is the most opportune time to speak or do something. 

Devices get in the way of this process. It makes us less observant. It dulls our senses. It keeps us from deepening our connections. Ahonui is truly analog. We must disconnect in order to connect.


5 PURSUITS of AHONUI:

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

In honor of Women’s History Month, I will be featuring stories written by and featuring prominent women of history. 

Please watch Shark Lady:The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Oceans Most Fearless Scientist written Jess Keating and illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguéns. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Talk to you kupuna about what the ocean means to each of you and your family.
  • SKILLS: What are some unfamiliar words from this text? What do you think they mean based on the story? Look them up in the dictionary to find their definition.
  • INTELLECT: Create a Tree Map of different species of sharks including the ones from this book and their qualities and the myths about sharks that Dr. Eugenie Clark dispelled
  • CRITICALITY: Born in 1922 to a Japanese mother and white, American father, Dr. Eugenie Clark faced several forms of discrimination as she strived to become a marine biologist. What lessons might we learn from Eugenie Clark that helped her eventually succeed despite these obstacles.
  • JOY:  Visit the Waikiki Aquarium or take a virtual visit to either the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago or the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

MAHALO NUI LOA FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF OUR FUN RUN

(Note – the date of our rescheduled Fun Run is to be determined)

As in year’s past, this year’s Fun Run remains a day our students and school look forward to all year. This event helps us raise a considerable amount of money that in the past helped us keep our technology up-to-date, replace the crumbling stage curtain, and installed new ceiling fans in the cafe. This year, the money will assist one of the schools in Lahaina restock supplies lost in the fire, expand our library collection, and install a new sound system in our cafeteria. Thank you to all who have generously contributed to our efforts and encouraged their friends and extended families to also support.

Mahalo also goes out to our teachers who coordinated efforts in the classroom and gratitude especially goes out to our Fun Run Committee, organized by Ms. Shigezawa. Together they have collaborated to ensure our students have an awesome, truly fun day along with vibrant t-shirts and swag. Their efforts are truly appreciated.

CRICKETS WHEN YOU ASK “HOW WAS YOUR DAY?” TRY THESE 

If your child is anything like mine, it’s difficult to elicit more than a one word answer. “Good” “Fine” “Meh” Sometimes, to get him to talk, I need to delve into different topics, subjects he likes, teachers he has strong opinions about. This Edutopia article makes several different suggestions including limiting yourself to just one or two questions per day, asking during a time when both of you can focus on the conversation like dinner, validate their feelings (even if you wouldn’t have felt the same), and ask for more (“I’d love to hear more about that…”). Read all the tips here plus sample questions to ask here.

CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Wed, Mar 27, 20245 PM KES School Community Council Meeting
6 PM KES Ohana Meeting – Join in-person at the Library or Online
Thur, April 4, 20246 – 7 PM A Night of Kindness – presented by our Wellness Committee
Fri, April 5, 20245 – 8:30 PM 6th Gr Movie Night
Fri, Apr 19, 2024 2:20 – 3:50 PM STEM Hōʻike Ohana Visitation
Apr 22 – May 10Smarter Balance Assessment testing

HAʻAHAʻA AND BECOMING OPEN

ku’ia ka hele a ka na’au ha’aha’a 1870 Hesitant walks the humble hearted

A humble person walks carefully so he will not hurt those about him

Pukui, Mary Kawena, (1983). ʻŌlelo Noʻeau

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: HAʻAHAʻA:

When Aunty Pilhi Paki taught Pono Shim about the deeper meaning behind haʻahaʻa, she told him that he needed to “go empty.” Often our minds are filled with memories, thoughts and judgements, frequently about ourselves. This is natural. We filter the world through our own eyes and experiences. However, if we are unable to “empty” our minds of ourselves, we can’t truly understand how others perceive the world. And when they behave differently from what we’d expect, we judge, asking,”Why did they do that? What were they thinking?” 

As an educator, it’s easy to fall into that trap. Most of us found success in school. We conformed to classroom expectations. The way our teachers instructed made sense to us. We understood how information was presented in textbooks. So when we encounter a student that thinks differently or has different needs, our first reaction, if we are not haʻahaʻa, is to judge the child. We refer them to the office. We give them failing grades. And in the worse case, we label the student which may shape how future closed-minded teachers perceive them.

But if we practice haʻahaʻa and “go empty,” we make room in our brains and our hearts for differences. We accept that everyone perceives the world through different lenses. We welcome new ideas and new methods that expand our repertoire as a teacher. We celebrate what makes every student unique. And as result, are better able to reach all of our students and find ways to help them attain success.

One of the greatest lessons I learned as a beginning teacher came from my students whose life was entirely different from my own. As a ninth grader, Kona could not sit still in class without saying something disrespectful. For him, every minute spent listening to a lecture was torture. Every written task I assigned was an unbearable burden. Eventually I snapped, chastising him and holding him afterschool for detention.

After what seemed to be a millennia of seething silence, I asked him, “Why? What’s wrong?” 

Kona replied sassily, “How long I gotta stay? My brother’s gonna be pissed because we missed our bus.”

Full of ignorance and judgement, I commented, “Well then your mom or dad can pick you up then I can talk to them.”

“Yea?!? Go try. My dadʻs in jail and I hardly ever see my mom.”

Given the combination of contempt and pain carved into his face, I knew he was telling the truth. My tone softened, “Who takes care of you? Your grandparents?” Kona dropped his eyes to the floor. “Look, I just want to help you. I know that you can learn this. I believe in you. I just want to know how I can help.”

After a while, Kona began sharing that his oldest brother, barely 18, took care of them in a deteriorating house owned by his father. But, for the most part, the brothers were on their own. For Kona, some days were harder to take care of himself. We then talked about we could change things around in class. It didn’t take away his pain nor did it keep him from talking back once in awhile, but it did help him learn and his behavior improved. Once I stopped seeing him as a troublemaker and instead as a 14 year old who was angry, frustrated, yet very capable, we connected. He knew that I sincerely cared about him and that he could count on me.

Years later, reflecting upon Aunty Pilahi and Pono’s teachings and how that might’ve applied to Kona, I understand that by going empty, we really are becoming open.


5 PURSUITS of HAʻAHAʻA:

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

In honor of Women’s History Month, I will be featuring stories written by and featuring prominent women of history. 

Please watch The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin written Julia Finley Mosca and illustrated by Daniel Rieley. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Talk with your kupuna about a time where you felt others (or even yourself) underestimated you or doubted your abilities. What happened? What did you do? 
  • SKILLS: What advice/help would you have given Temple if you were in the same class as her while she was being bullied?
  • INTELLECT: Watch a TED talk by Dr. Grandin and learn about different ways people think.
  • CRITICALITY: How could you use your talents and uniqueness to make the world better and kinder?
  • JOY:  Some people who feel a lot of anxiety find ways to calm themselves when there is too much going on. With your kupuna, make fidgit toys to play with when you feel anxious. Or make them and donate them to an organization that helps kids who have experienced trauma. (Idea from https://www.learningtogive.org/resources/girl-who-thought-pictures-literature-guide)

KULEANA OF TEACHING RESILIENCE 

Recently a few students approached me, asking me to intervene with a classmate who they accused of cyberbullying them. I asked if this occurred in school and they replied that it occurred while they were all playing a game on-line the previous evening. Similarly, we also heard from students accusing others of saying hurtful things on social media as well as on group text threads that included students of all ages from other schools.

In all of these cases, I reminded students that they hold real power to put a stop this, one that I do not possess. 

  • They can block people being disrespectful from their games. 
  • They can “unfriend” hurtful people from social media. 
  • They can remove themselves and hide alerts from message threads that are toxic. 

In sharing this, my goal is to empower students with the kuleana and agency to defend themselves when online. They are not helpless victims. They are powerful and they are loved.

In addition to telling an adult when someone is being harmful, I believe in outfitting our students with resources and tools to shield themselves. Doing so trains them to be resilient, strong young adults. Please join me in teaching your children to be empowered to take positive action.


CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Wed, Mar 13, 20244:30 PM KES Wellness Meeting
Fri, Mar 15, 2024KES Fun Run
Mar 18 – 22, 2024Spring Break
Wed, Mar 27, 20245 PM KES School Community Council Meeting
6 PM KES Ohana Meeting – Join in-person at the Library or Online

OLUʻOLU: GENTLE STRENGTH

`O ka `olu`olu e hau`oli ia. Kindness brings happiness.

Mary Kawena Pukui

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: OLUʻOLU

Have you ever seen your child ever done something that got you so mad that you just wanted to scream? Maybe it was in a public space and you didn’t want to draw attention yet you needed to stop your child from behaving badly. Did you impulsively yell at them? Did you try to ignore the situation?

According to Uncle Pono Shim, when someone is ʻoluʻolu they are gentle in their relationships and acknowledge its significance. The gentleness of ʻoluʻolu is balanced with strength – an unbreakable spirit or foundation. Aunty Pilahi Paki said that ʻoluʻolu is like carrying a baby. You need to be gentle yet strong. Being ʻoluʻolu requires you to do the right thing at the right time, especially in uncomfortable situations, with the full intention of caring for someone.

My mother’s favorite picture to show my dates used to be one where I was sprawled out on the pavement in the middle of a parking lot of Times Supermarket, throwing a tantrum. I probably was 2 or 3 and according to my parents and older sister, I frequently threw myself onto the ground when I couldn’t get my way. My mom said she was so fearful that I would hit my head. Some parents might have handled the situation differently but my parents chose to wait me out.  They made sure I was safe and let me get all the emotions out. After a few minutes (but probably felt like hours) still hyperventilating and sobbing, I was able to get on with the day. It must’ve taken great restraint for them not to grab and shake me while yelling at me to stop – to withstand the judging stares of others or ignore the stinging critiques to “control your child.” Yet, it was the right thing to do, despite the uncomfortableness of the situation. It was ‘oluʻolu. I eventually grew out of that stage and if it weren’t documented or ridiculed for it, I wouldn’t have any recollection. Advised by my pediatrician, Dr. Sia, they knew I was going through a temporary phase, one many other toddlers experience – so much so it has a name, “Terrible Twos” – they knew to be lovingly patient and that all they could do in the moment was to keep me safe.


5 PURSUITS of ʻOLUʻOLU

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

In honor of Women’s History Month, I will be featuring stories written by and featuring prominent women of history. 

Please watch Nina: A Story of Nina Simone written Traci N. Todd and illustrated by Christian Robinson. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Talk with your kupuna about songs and music that have been meaningful to them while growing up and why.
  • SKILLS: Throughout the story, the author uses metaphors that compare Nina’s feelings and experiences to thunder. Find as many examples as you can.
  • INTELLECT: Nina Simone and many of her friends protested against “Jim Crow” laws. Research what were “Jim Crow” laws and why were they called that. 
  • CRITICALITY: In this story, Nina Simone uses her music to speak out about injustice and hate. If you could write a song about something you’d like to change in the world, what would you like it to be about?
  • JOY:  Together, listen to a popular song by Nina Simone, Feeling Good,which according to the video’s description, “depicts generations of Black joy and boundless self-expression.” Share songs you spoke about previously in the IDENTITY pursuit.

HOʻOMAIKAʻI SIGHT IS BEAUTIFUL CONTEST WINNERS

Mahalo to all students who entered their works of art to the Kāneʻohe Lion’s Club annual Sight is Beautiful contest. This year, we congratulate 2nd grader Pearl Le who won 2nd place in her division along with Lucia Fraiola and Anela Duldulao who both earned Honorable Mentions. Please see their artwork at the Windward Mall until March 10. Mahalo and congratulations also goes out to teachers Mrs. Moriwake and Mrs. House who inspired their students to enter this contest and showcase their vision for what Sight is Beautiful means to them – awesome job!

DRIVE WITH ALOHA

Mahalo nui loa to many of our ʻohana that drive on and near our campus with aloha. Traffic, especially during the morning rush hour can be frustrating and so we are greatly appreciative of those who are considerate, patient and consistently safe. 

As a reminder to those that are persistently driving unsafe, ie speeding on Mokulele, dropping of children in the middle of the street, or cutting in line at the pick-up/drop-off, we ask that you immediately stop these actions. We are concerned for your safety as well as that of your passengers and everyone around. We also strive to promote being a safe and positive role model for our students and ask that you join us in this effort.


CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Wed, Mar 13, 20244:30 PM KES Wellness Meeting
Fri, Mar 15, 2024KES Fun Run
Mar 18 – 22, 2024Spring Break
Wed, Mar 27, 20245 PM KES School Community Council Meeting
6 PM KES Ohana Meeting – Join in-person at the Library or Online

LŌKAHI AND TREASURED TOGETHERNESS

He waiwai nui ka lōkāhi. Unity is a precious possession. 977

Pukui, Mary Kawena, (1983). ʻŌlelo Noʻeau

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: LŌKAHI

Growing up, our extended family chipped in to rent a beach house on the North Shore one weekend every summer. Although we frequently got-together for dinner and family parties, going to the beach house was a treasured event. We spent all day fishing and playing along the shore. My aunties played their ukulele as we sang old songs by the campfire. Then we stayed up late into the night playing cards, talking and laughing.

My relatives from the continent planned their vacations around beach house weekend. We brought friends to join in the fun. The celebration seemed to grow each year with more people added to crowd of revelers. Now whenever I drive by the North Shore and see the old house we rented, I am in disbelief that it could hold so many people. Yet it still evokes feelings of fondness for my family mixed in with a bit of melancholy. 

After Hurricane Iwa slammed into the islands, my family stopped renting the beach house. One of my aunties became fearful that we would be caught unprepared and swept out to sea. While we still gathered to go fishing and celebrate special events, the frequency seemed to drop especially as my cousins got older. Our moments together seemed much more brief, much more intermittent.

While my family strives to remain close, some cousins have moved further away and less frequently visit. Some have even stopped seeing each other, letting minor disagreements fester into a mammoth-like wedge. As with it happens with many, people grow apart. The longer the time we spend separated and greater the distance between us, the harder it is to remain emotionally close. Friendships drift and relatives become strangers. 

The time spent at the beach house, albeit only three days out of the year, somehow bridged any divides. We didn’t talk about our feelings or told each other “I love you.” (It was the 70s. We are Japanese.) However, being together for 72 hours straight, squeezed into a small space, enjoying shared experiences deepened our appreciation for our family. And it was enough to keep us close.


5 PURSUITS of LŌKAHI

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

In honor of Black History Month, I will be featuring stories written by and featuring people of African descent. 

Please watch Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea written and read by Meena Harris also illustrated by Ana Ramírez González. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Talk about something your family, neighbors, and/or community have come together to create something. What was that like? How did you overcome any obstacles that stood in your way? Why was this important to your ʻohana/community?
  • SKILLS: What genre of literature does this book fall into? What is the evidence for your answer?
  • INTELLECT: The Kamala featured in this book is based on our Vice-President Kamala Harris. Research her journey to becoming the first woman, the first Black American, and the first South Asian American to win the vice-presidency of the United States.
  • CRITICALITY: Kamala’s mother would tell her, “You may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.” What meaning does this quote have for you, especially in making this world a better place?
  • JOY:  Host a potluck where everyone is able to share and celebrate each other’s contributions. It could be a simple one, for example, where everyone brings different toppings for your Spam musubi. 

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION AND GES

The deadline for submitting kindergarten GEs is this Friday, March 1, 2024.

All kindergarten GEs received after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list and will be accepted as space becomes available.

Beyond, March 1, we will continue to accept applications for kindergarten for children turning 5 by July 31, 2024. 

We are also accepting Geographic Exceptions (GE), for students entering grades 1 through 6. If you have any questions about registering your child, please call me or our registration clerk, Brigette Leavy, at 305-0000.

HOʻOMAIKAʻI CPAC KIDSTART CAST

A well deserved congratulations to our Kāneʻohe Menehune for their part in presenting Sponge Bob Square Pants Jr for this year’s CPAC Kidstart show. Please join me in thanking and congratulating the following students and their ʻohana:

Kaeten Miyashiro Manatad, Kameron Goohue-Souza-Kaululaa, Kobe Bruhn, Sariah Ava, Ariana Tanoye, Grezyn Nagao, and Makalehua Pelletier!

CPAC Director, Karen Meyer also wants to let families know they are once again offering Saturday classes. Please see the flyer for more information.

INSTILL A LOVE OF HISTORY IN KIDS

As Black History Month comes to a close this week, I would encourage all to continue to learn about and celebrate the accomplishments of those who aren’t always featured when we study history. The National Association of Elementary Principals gives a few tips on how you might do this:


CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Wed, Feb 28, 2024 5 – 6 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Feb 28, 2024 6 – 7 PMKES Ohana Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Mar 13, 2024 4:30 – 5:30Wellness Meeting
Join by Zoom
Fri, Mar 15, 2024KES Fun Run
Mar 18 – 22, 2024Spring Break

AKAHAI AND REMEMBERING TO BE GRATEFUL

Modest, gentle, unassuming, unpretentious, unobtrusive, docile, decorous, meek, suave; meekness, modesty.

Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H. (1965). Hawaiian Dictionary

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: AKAHAI

As I sat on the tarmac, I began to feel anger and frustration fill my thoughts. My flight to Tucson had already been delayed thrice due to heavy traffic at other airports, each time pushing our departure back by an hour. When the plane finally arrived, the staff rushed to empty the plane, give it a cursory cleaning, and get us on-board. As the plane pulled away from the jetway, the pilot announced tailwinds would assist in making up some of the lost time. I felt a sense of relief. Finally we are on our way.

The plane rolled to a stop on the runway, possibly waiting in a queue to take-off. Then the air conditioning shut down and the plane began to feel warmer. After ten minutes, the pilot announced we were experiencing a mechanical issue and ground crews were attempting to fix it. “It should only take a few minutes.” Minutes passed. The flight attendants began passing out water. It’s never a good sign when you’re sitting on the tarmac and they pass out water. Finally, the pilot said we would need to return to the terminal to resolve the issue. Minutes passed before the plane’s engines whirred to life and slowly propelled the plane to it’s starting point.

People became impatient, just audibly mumbling their complaints. Some interrogated the flight attendants who knew little more than we did. I too allowed myself to feel upset and agitated. I had planned to eat dinner at 9, just after our planned arrival time. As the waiting in the plane stretched out the landing time to 10 and then 10:30 and now 11 at the earliest, my stomach growled in protest.

But then, I thought about the accident that occurred recently where a door plug blew off of a plane. What if the mechanical issue were similar? The ground crew and pilot were trying to keep us safe. The flight crew were doing their best to keep us calm and comfortable despite the challenging conditions. As I reflected upon their acts of akahai, my patience reset and gratitude filled my heart.  

Martin Luther King Jr. famously wrote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” I need to remind myself to recognize the acts of akahai that occur everyday. Even the smallest of acts, when filled with love, drive out the hate. Some might see it as just doing their job – like teachers teaching, counselors counseling, and parents parenting – but the results of their love-filled acts make our children better, even if just a little bit, everyday.

So I am grateful for those who got me and the other passengers to Tucson. We weren’t on-time, but we arrived safe and ultimately that’s what matters the most.


5 PURSUITS of AKAHAI

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

In honor of Black History Month, I will be featuring stories written by and featuring people of African descent. 

Please watch The Kindest Red written and read by Ibtihaj Muhammad also co-authored by S. K. Ali and illustrated by Hatem Aly. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: What are examples of the kindness that is passed along in your family?
  • SKILLS: After reading the book, what do you think the title means?
  • INTELLECT: Research the author Ibtihaj Muhammad who was the first American Muslim woman to wear hijab while competing at the Olympic Games. 
  • CRITICALITY: The main character, Faizah, wants ‘a kind world.’ What does this mean to you? Do you think the world we live in is kind? What makes you think this? How can we make the world kinder?
  • JOY:  Together, draw your idea of a kind word.

SEE SPONGE BOB SQUAREPANTS THE MUSICAL LIVE AT CASTLE

Buy your tickets now to see our wonderful performers across the Castle Complex including, Kaeten Miyashiro Manatad; Kameron Goohue-Souza-Kaululaa; Kobe Bruhn; Sariah Ava; Ariana Tanoye; Grezyn Nagao; and Makalehua Pelletier, in Sponge Bob Squarepants the Musical (Youth Version) There are only three shows, February 23 – 25. so secure your seat today at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/79651

PIKO CANCELLED FOR FEB 20-21

If you join us for our virtual piko, please know that we will be cancelling Piko for February 20 – 21 due to half the school attending the Sponge Bob Squarepants Jr. show at Castle Theater on either day. Virtual piko will resume on Thursday, February 22.

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION AND GES

We are accepting applications for kindergarten for children turning 5 by July 31, 2024. If your child requires a Geographic Exception (GE), please submit your application as soon as possible. The deadline for submittal is March 1, 2024. All kindergarten GEs received after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list and will be accepted as space becomes available. If you have any questions about this or any other kindergarten related business, please call me or our registration clerk, Brigette Leavy, at 305-0000.

CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Mon, Feb 18, 2024Presidents Day Holiday – No School
Wed, Feb 28, 2024 5 – 6 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Mar 13, 2024 4:30 – 5:30Wellness Meeting
Join by Zoom
Fri, Mar 15, 2024KES Fun Run
Mar 18 – 22, 2024Spring Break

AHONUI AND WAITING FOR YOUR MOMENT

E hoʻāhonui aʻe ā pau kēia pilikia, be patient until this trouble is over.

Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H. (1965). Hawaiian Dictionary

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: AHONUI

When Paula Fuga enrolled in my leadership class I didn’t know what to expect. She was not in my freshman physics class but I did see her around school, jovial with a booming voice. Actually everyone knew Paula for that reason. 

The leadership class planned homecoming, the prom and other activities for the Class of ʻ96. I tried to impart leadership skills but mainly let the students take the lead, succeed or fail. While she didn’t chair any major activity, Paula was a great fit for the class. She enthusiastically supported everyone with an energy that was infectious and filled with aloha. For example, once – for reasons I no longer can recall – we had a senior assembly and the organizers failed to arrange for someone to sing the National Anthem. Everyone’s attention was called and as the voices settled into a silence, we realized there was no music cued up and no one assigned to sing. Anticipation became awkward and panic spread amongst the assembly organizers. As they froze, I decided to step up and sing it acapella just so we could move on. Warbly, I started, “Oh say can you see?” Soon, a handful of my former students heckled me from the stands, “Ehhh Minakami – you suck!” Paula, who was not one of the assembly organizers, stood up, thunderously called those boys out and defended me in front of the entire school. 

My gratitude and warm memories of Paula always come rushing back whenever I hear one of her songs or on the rare occasion, see her perform. Last night, I had the delight of seeing Paula perform at Kaelepulu Elementary’s 50th anniversary. During the show, she recounted how, as a second grader attending Kaelepulu, the principal invited her to sing up on stage during lunch in front of the entire cafeteria. Already aspiring to be a star, this opportunity added rocket fuel to her ambitions. As Paula introduced “Just a Little Bit,” her song of perseverance and resilience, she encouraged the students in the crowd to, like her 2nd grade self, keep striving towards their dreams. 

Back at Kailua High School, Paula did not hide her dreams to become a singer. Even when doubters voiced their skepticism, she proudly defied them. Even with raw talent, she continued to better her skills, taking ukulele lessons, pursing opportunities to compete and strengthen her voice. Even when she fell short of making the cut on American Idol, she persisted. She eventually released a solo album and won Na Hoku Hanohano award for “Most Promising Artist of the Year”  

Today, Paula Fuga is world renowned, famous for her enchanting voice, touching songs, and collaborations with Jack Johnson and Ziggy Marley. Her fame did not come easy; it was hard won. Her time did not just arrive; she waited patiently while surviving homelessness, surpassing her rejections, and consistently sharpening her craft. Ahonui is not just about being patient. Ahonui is about being patient while you wait for and work towards your moment. In the sage words of Paula Fuga, 

Hold on just a little bit longer

I know in time you’ll feel a little stronger

And try just a little bit harder

When you feel like slipping

Time to give it your all

Just a little bit




5 PURSUITS of AHONUI

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

In honor of Black History Month, I will be featuring stories written by and featuring people of African descent. 

Please watch The United States v. Jackie Robinson  written and read by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen also illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Talk about with your kupuna if they or anyone they know faced discrimination. What did that feel like and what did they do?
  • SKILLS: What is the genre of this book? What is your evidence?
  • INTELLECT: Jackie Robinson was one of several athletes that broke barriers in the world of sports. Research Wilma Rudolph who broke barriers in the Olympics. 
  • CRITICALITY: Using Jackie Robinson as a role model, how might we practice Aloha to overcome discrimination?
  • JOY:  Take some time to play catch.

HOʻOMAIKAʻI LAUREN COLLIER AND MELISSA LEE

This weekend, Ms. Collier and Ms. Lee were among 20 Hawaiʻi teachers who were recognized for achieving one of the most prestigious distinctions available to teachers, National Board Certification (NBCT). Across the nation, only 4% of teachers have earned this professional certificate and this year, Kāneʻohe Elementary was the only school to have two teachers become certified. We are proud of Ms. Collier and Ms. Lee’s accomplishment – congratulations!

HOʻOMAIKAʻI JUNIOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS

This weekend a few of our students were also recognized for their participation at the Windward District Science and Engineering Fair. We are so thankful for these 6th graders who represented Kāneʻohe Elementary with poise and intellect:

  • Greyzen Nagao and Lacey Relator for their Multi-Art Tool;
  • Nixon Ihu and Bryson Tanji for their Tako Box;
  • Makalehua Pelletier for her Stretchies; and 
  • Henna Yen, Sury Kaio, Kyrra Kahumoku for their Water Catchment System
Henna Yen shows her team's Water Catchment System.

We also congratulate Nixon, Bryson and Makalehua for being selected to move onto the Hawaiʻi State Science and Engineering Fair. There they will represent the Windward District as they compete against students from private and public schools across the state. On top of that Henna, Sury and Kyra won the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award for their water catchment system. Additionally Makalehua won several awards including the Lemelson Early Inventor Prize and Best in the Engineering Technology:Statics and Dynamics category. 

SEE SPONGE BOB SQUAREPANTS THE MUSICAL LIVE AT CASTLE

Buy your tickets now to see our wonderful performers across the Castle Complex including, Kaeten Miyashiro Manatad; Kameron Goohue-Souza-Kaululaa; Kobe Bruhn; Sariah Ava; Ariana Tanoye; Grezyn Nagao; and Makalehua Pelletier, in Sponge Bob Squarepants the Musical (Youth Version) There are only three shows, February 23 – 25. so secure your seat today at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/79651

A WARNING ABOUT SCREEN TIME AND READING

A recent article in EdWeek shares the latest brain development research on exposure to electronics and its effect on language development and reading skills in young children. While the data so far is limited, initial findings are grim. Read more about the research here.

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION AND GES

We are accepting applications for kindergarten for children turning 5 by July 31, 2024. If your child requires a Geographic Exception (GE), please submit your application as soon as possible. The deadline for submittal is March 1, 2024. All kindergarten GEs received after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list and will be accepted as space becomes available. If you have any questions about this or any other kindergarten related business, please call me or our registration clerk, Brigette Leavy, at 305-0000.

CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Mon, Feb 12, 2024Teacher Institute Day – No Students
Tue, Feb 13, 2024, 4:30 – 5:30 PMWellness Meeting
Join by Zoom
Mon, Feb 18, 2024Presidents Day Holiday – No School
Wed, Feb 28, 2024 5 – 6 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom

HAʻAHAʻA, EMPATHY AND PERSPECTIVE

E hoʻohaʻahaʻa ʻia hoʻi ka manaʻo kiʻekiʻe o ke kanaka (Isa. 2.17), the haughtiness of men shall be made low. (PNP sakasaka.)

Pukui, Mary Kawena, Elbert, Samuel H. (1965). Hawaiian Dictionary

ALOHA FOCUS FOR THE WEEK: HAʻAHAʻA

Typically, when we want someone to gain empathy or understand someone’s perspective, we say, “walk a mile in their shoes.” Yet, studies have found, “people who endured challenges in the past (like divorce or being skipped over for a promotion) were less likely to show compassion for someone facing the same struggle, compared with people with no experience in that particular situation.” In one research study, people were given a scenario where a teenager struggled to cope with being bullied. They were then asked the extent to which they felt compassion for the teen. Researchers found people expressed a broad range of empathy. Counterintuitively, those that had little or no compassion were often those who had been bullied in the past. Why might this be?

On one hand, quite literally, we don’t fit into each other’s shoes. My banana boat size 12s would feel very different to someone wearing petite size 5s – even if the shoes were the same brand and style. If I tried to squeeze into shoes half my size, I’d focus on the pain and blisters caused by its ill fit rather than anything the shoes’ owner experiences. And even if I wore someone else’s shoes of the same size, they would still feel odd. Ever mistakenly put on someone else’s slippers after a party? Your toes hang slightly over the edge. The arch pushes on the wrong part of your sole. Since our feet are shaped differently and our bodies uniquely distribute and balance our weight, the slippers become customized to the owner. We can imagine what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes but that imagination is shaped by our own perspective.

Once, outside of Marukai, I took a picture of raindrops forming droplets on my windshield. I noticed within each the projection of a red framed window above my car. Every droplet contained an image of the same window. Yet, because of the size and shape of the drops varied, the assorted versions of the window appeared warped and peculiar. 

We see and undergo things through our own eyes and filter them through our own experiences. 

Once I finally accepted the fact that people see things differently from me, I stopped being frustrated that they did not behave according to my expectations. When I catch a kid swearing, I cease thinking they should know better and no longer say, “Would you talk like that to your parents?” Maybe swearing is acceptable in their household. Maybe it’s not. I really don’t know and it’s not my place to judge whether cursing is allowed in their home. Instead, I just say, “Swearing is not allowed here in school” and teach them what is acceptable.

Instead of assuming everyone grew up like me or hold the same perspectives, I practice haʻahaʻa – “Go Empty” as Pono Shim put it. I tell myself, “You are not a mind reader” and I listen. If I don’t understand, I ask questions. I trust and accept what they are telling me is their truth, their reality…and, with aloha, that is the surest way to gain empathy.


5 PURSUITS of HAʻAHAʻA

Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

In honor of Black History Month, I will be featuring stories written by and featuring people of African descent. 

Please watch So Much written and read by Trish Cooke also illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: Talk with your kupuna about the different ways members of your ʻohana show love.
  • SKILLS: Why do you think the title of the story is So Much? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer.
  • INTELLECT: The author Trish Cooke is from the Caribbean, a set of tropical islands south of Florida. Research the history and culture of the Caribbean islands and do a Double Bubble Map comparing it to Hawaiʻi.
  • CRITICALITY: Sometimes friends or even loved ones show love by teasing or making fun of each other. Yet, this way of showing love is not always appreciated or accepted as love. How might you let a friend know that their teasing is unwanted? -OR- How might you find out if your making fun of a friend is appreciated? 
  • JOY:  With your kupuna, talk about past family events that you both enjoyed. Look through photos of those events. Draw a picture of the photo and write a message underneath.

COUNSELOR APPRECIATION WEEK

Kāneʻohe Elementary is blessed with a team of amazing, compassionate, thoughtful, and caring counselors. Please join us this week in showing appreciation for Julie Isa, Shane Kumashiro, and our Behavior Health Specialist Joan Lanzaderas.

STEM NIGHT AT KES

Mahalo nui loa to the couple dozen families that braved the cold, windy weather last Friday to attend this year’s STEM Night. Aspiring engineers from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) challenged our students to design boats out of aluminum foil and measured which could hold the greatest amount of pennies. There were so many innovative designs, some holding up to 150 coins. Mahalo nui loa to the ASCE students, STEM Resource Teacher Karen Kimura, and Parent Community Network Coordinator Dee Fujinaka for organizing this engaging event.

ANCIENT HAWAIIANS PRACTICED ENGINEERING

In the February edition of Grove Farm’s newsletter, read about how in 1400 AD, the ancient Hawaiians used engineering to transport water and irrigate crops in arid Kōloa. Considering most auwai across the islands were dug into the soil, this innovative system uniquely used elevated aqueducts to bring water to otherwise inaccessible areas – much before Western contact.

KINDERGARTEN PREVIEW

Last call for our Kindergarten Preview this Wednesday, February 7, 5:30 – 6:30 PM. Since dinner will be included, please RSVP by Monday, February 5.

At this event, participants will:

  • Meet our teachers and support team; 
  • Visit our classrooms;
  • Get a snapshot of what kindergarten looks like at Kāneʻohe Elementary;
  • Participate in Parent-Child activities; and 
  • Learn how to enroll in our Kindergarten Smart Start Summer Program.

We are also accepting applications for kindergarten. If your child requires a Geographic Exception (GE), please submit your application as soon as possible. The deadline for submittal is March 1, 2024. All kindergarten GEs received after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list and will be accepted as space becomes available. If you have any questions about this or any other kindergarten related business, please call me or our registration clerk, Brigette Leavy, at 305-0000.

SEE SPONGE BOB SQUAREPANTS THE MUSICAL LIVE AT CASTLE

Buy your tickets now to see our wonderful performers across the Castle Complex including, Kaeten Miyashiro Manatad; Kameron Goohue-Souza-Kaululaa; Kobe Bruhn; Sariah Ava; Ariana Tanoye; Grezyn Nagao; and Makalehua Pelletier, in Sponge Bob Squarepants the Musical (Youth Version) There are only three shows, February 23 – 25. so secure your seat today at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/79651


CONTINUED PRACTICES:

NOʻAHUNA OF ALOHA

See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.

WEAR PINK FOR MAUI WEDNESDAYS

Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO

At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


UPCOMING EVENT

Wed, Feb 7, 2024, 5:30 – 6:30 PMKindergarten Preview in the Cafe
RSVP here
Sat, Feb 10, 2024, 8 – 11 AMWindward District Science & Engineering Fair: Public Viewing & Awards Ceremony at WCC
Mon, Feb 12, 2024Teacher Institute Day – No Students
Tue, Feb 13, 2024, 4:30 – 5:30 PMWellness Meeting
Join by Zoom
Mon, Feb 18, 2024Presidents Day Holiday – No School
Wed, Feb 28, 2024 5 – 6 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom