Buff 'n Blue Journal
Punahou School Leaders Recognized by NAIS
Punahou School stepped into the awards spotlight at the National Association of Independent Schools' annual conference in Washington, D.C., as President Jim Scott '70 and Wo International Center Director Hope Staab were honored for their respective, groundbreaking contributions to education.
NAIS, comprised of 1,400 independent schools and organizations, honored Scott with its 2011 Diversity Leadership Award on Feb. 25, 2011. The award recognizes outstanding leaders who have worked to advance diversity and inclusivity on a national and/or international scale.
Scott, the first recipient from Hawai'i, shared the award with headmaster Al Adams of Lick-Wilmerding School in California. Both leaders have championed the public purpose of private schools, the theme of this year's conference.
In accepting the award, Scott spoke of kuleana, or personal responsibility. "I believe that the educational achievement gap in America is the civil rights issue of our time." He encouraged independent schools to tackle the challenge of improving all of America's schools.
NAIS recognized Staab with the 2011 Global Citizen Award, given to an educator or individual for outstanding contributions to global education. Under Staab, the Center has initiated language and culture exposure in the early grades, developed Academy student-service trips to China, Costa Rica, Japan and Senegal, and launched Punahou's Student Global Leadership Institute in partnership with schools in China, Japan, Jordan and the U.S.
Mini-Museum Immerses Students in Japanese Culture
In November, frogs hopped energetically around a Winne classroom. The frisky critters were of the paper variety, origami that second-graders visiting Wo International Center's Japanese Mini-Museum had meticulously folded – and then immediately put to the test.
"Wow! It really works," exclaimed Will Case '21. He had listened intently as Wo Center program specialist Terrina Wong gave step-by-step instructions to the students and parents gathered around the origami table.
The popular mini-museum occupied Winne B – 1 throughout November. Exhibits were designed to enrich grade 2 curriculum studies on Japan, with the intent of helping students better understand the daily lives of Japanese children, said Wong. All the second-grade classes visited, and many of the students escorted their parents, sharing the knowledge of Japanese culture and language they had gained throughout the first semester.
Besides the origami, visitors enjoyed designing their own kimono patterns; practicing calligraphy and writing Tanabata wishes for the bamboo tree; dressing up in yukata; visiting the model tea room; and participating in numerous other activities.
The temporary mini-museum also was open to the entire Punahou community and engaged all ages. Japanese-language students from the Academy served as docents, contributing 45 volunteer hours, and among the many students that visited were those from Wo's Japanese and Chinese LACES classes.
"The cultural objects are great storytellers, giving children insight into what the Japanese people value and believe in and what is important in their daily lives," Wong said.
Young Artists Shape K – 1 Mosaic
A vibrant depiction of a Hawaiian ahupua'a is taking shape at the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood, as the artistic impulses of 300 inspired kindergartners and first-graders coalesce in a mosaic to be unveiled this spring.
The finished work will stretch 49 feet long and 7 feet high, featuring ceramic pieces designed, fired and glazed by the students, guided by their classroom and art teachers to create the permanent installation. Leah Kilpatrick '86 Rigg, whose numerous architectural mosaics in Hawai'i include the one at Case Middle School, helped pull it all together.
"The kids are doing this! And the teachers are amazing," said Rigg, describing how K – 1 teachers have integrated the project into diverse lessons. For example, a class studying Hawaiian legends decided to feature the naupaka flower in the mosaic, inspired by the ancient story explaining the half-blossom's unique appearance. Another class examined banana plants inside and out before drawing the outlines they would later transfer to clay.
During a session in the K – 1 art room, Rebecca Kesler's kindergartners used all they had learned from art teacher Arlene Merritt about contour drawing, the medium of clay, tools and techniques as they sketched designs for their ceramic pieces. They carefully cut out their clay pieces, then used natural tools such as tiny pinecones and rocks to create texture.
At the center of the mosaic will be Ka Punahou, showing the hala tree sprouting from the life-giving spring.
Grow Hawai'i Nourishes Students
Middle-schoolers are putting their gardening expertise and culinary skills to the test for Grow Hawai'i, a pilot project promoting a "buy local, eat local" lifestyle.
Punahou is among more than a dozen independent and charter schools on O'ahu participating in the project, supported by a partnership of Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, the state education and agriculture departments, and the Ulupono Initiative.
Among the goals are to increase the quality and quantity of local, healthy, fresh food in school cafeterias and to deepen the discussion statewide about the need to grow more food in Hawai'i. While teachers, administrators and food service directors are collaborating on ways to achieve those goals, it's the kids who are really cooking!
Grow Hawai'i's first year includes two major events in Waikiki. The Grow Hawai'i Fall Season Challenge at the Sheraton Waikiki on Nov. 8 had students from 13 schools split into mixed teams for an "Iron Chef"-style cook-off, complete with a secret ingredient (Japanese pumpkin).
This May, the students will participate in the Grow Hawai'i Pizza Cook-Off, during which they'll use herbs and vegetables from their school gardens to top homemade pizzas. The Punahou students will draw on their experiences at Ka Papa Mala o Punahou, the garden behind Griffiths Hall, as they devise their pizza recipes.