LIHU‘E — “What a pleasant surprise!” said Lois Ann Ell, academic director and vice principal of Kanuikapono Charter School.
Ell was surprised upon learning that each of the 18teachers at Kanuikapono had been “adopted” by generous donors of Aloha Angels, each receiving $700 in their digital wallet to spend on their students however they choose. From school supplies, field trips, or even special curricula, the teachers are free to spend the money as they wish.
“Our Adopt-a-Teacher program was the brainchild of the late Ric Cox, recognizing the strain that gets placed on teachers who regularly need to spend their own monies to get various supplies for their students because they care,” said Ronnie Margolis, of the Aloha Angels Advisory Board.
When a donor contributes $700 to a teacher or $1,000 to sponsor a club, they become an “Aloha Angel.” “
After two years of COVID, our teachers have had to adapt to so many additional changes and stresses; they really deserve our support more than ever,” Margolis said.
Aloha Angels was created in 2013 to meet the needs of teachers and students by providing supplies for the classroom, and funding for field trips.
In 2014, the Adopt-an-After-School program was founded to fill an essential gap on the island of Kauai by providing after-school enrichment programs.
“We are looking forward to the fall when school will hopefully be back to normal and our enrichment programs, our mentoring clubs, can once again provide a plethora of experiences for our keiki beyond the classroom,” noted Margolis. “From 3D printing, math tutoring, Zumba, gardening, art, music, science and beyond, we support teachers by providing the funds and materials for them to teach after-school any subject they are passionate about.”
The program also focuses on the social and emotional well-being and self-esteem of our students in elementary and middle schools. The club programs are kept very small so that the students not only learn something fun, they get the one-on-one attention of a personal mentor.
In 2017, Aloha Angels formed a partnership with the non-profit Bandwagon to provide a unique club program that focuses on music.
Students from grades 4 through 8 can receive music scholarships to learn all the rhythm section instruments (drums, bass, keyboards, and guitars) and the latest music technology. They are organized into bands with their own coach plus they perform each semester in “The Battle of the Bands.”
This concert is the culmination of the music program and gives the students an opportunity to perform in front of a large group of people.
“It’s incredible how psyched up these kids get when they know they are performing with their own band on a big stage,” said Jeremy Hartshorn, executive director of Bandwagon. “The camaraderie that is formed and teamwork that is learned in this one-semester is so uplifting and inspiring to me and my staff.”
This year’s Battle of the Bands concert, sponsored by Aloha Angels, takes place on Center Stage at Kukui Grove Center on Saturday, beginning at 5 p.m.
For more information call or text Ronnie Margolis at 808.346.7095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island