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Turning Over a New Leaf

Thurs., May 20, 2021 7:30 pm

HIKI NŌ Student Reflections Spring 2021, Part Three

During the spring quarter of the 2020/2021 school year, HIKI NŌ students reflect on the impact COVID-19 restrictions have had on their home and school lives, as well as the lives of those close to them.

Jayanie Kakutani, a seventh-grader at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kauaʻi, tells of how her media teacher and HIKI NŌ advisor Kevin Matsunaga used games and other fun activities to break through the social awkwardness of online class meetings.

Dylan Koch, a junior at Kalāheo High School in Windward Oʻahu, and a military dependent, expresses the difficulties he experienced moving from Virginia to Hawaiʻi (due to his father’s reassignment) during the pandemic, and how organizations such as the Boy Scouts and the Kalāheo track team gave him the stability he needed to make it through.

Tania Araki and Miracle Liufau, best friends and eighth-graders at Kealakehe Intermediate School on Hawaiʻi Island, recount the ups and downs of trying to keep their friendship together while not being able to meet in person when their school was on 100% distance learning.

Isaiah Matsunaga, a fifth-grader at Waikīkī Elementary School on Oʻahu, reflects on how school and his classmates have changed now that they have returned to on-campus learning after a full year of distance learning.

Mia Ruhaak, also a fifth-grader at Waikīkī Elementary School on Oʻahu, gains a new-found respect for her mother (a teacher) after witnessing her slaving over an 85-page grant application for days on end, all for the sake of receiving a grant to help other teachers.

Mackenzie-Jade Arthur, a junior at Hilo High School on Hawaiʻi Island, talks about the bond she has formed with her horse, Nui, and how the effort she made to help him through his behavioral issues brought them even closer.  “When Nui and I are together,” she says, “we are home.”

PLUS

Students at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kauaʻi tell the story of two Kauaʻi High School seniors who deconstructed a leaf in order to create a new leaf that is more efficient at converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. According to one of the students, Robert Abigania, they took on this endeavor because they feel they are part of the “generation that has to fix the past generation’s air quality.”

Students at Lahainaluna High School on Maui show how a driver’s education teacher re-invented how he taught his course when schools shut down due to the pandemic.

Students at Maui Waena Intermediate School show how a community on Maui came together with a little paint and a lot of creativity to brighten a local intersection that had a dark past.

Students at H.P. Baldwin High School on Maui profile a woman who works for Maui County’s SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) initiative, who wants people to realize that SNAP is not a handout. It’s a hand-up.

HIKI NŌ 5|20|21: Student Reflections Spring 2021, Part Three