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
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.
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.