LIHU‘E — Kai Guimaraes, a home-school student taught by his mother Keya, topped not only the Kaua‘i Association for Family and Community Education 2021 Character Counts Essay/Artwork Contest, his piece topped the Hawai‘i State FCE competition and will be forwarded to the National FCE for consideration of their respective awards.
“Kai’s essay and artwork expressed his creativity and understanding of the theme in an imaginative story of a worker bee,” said KAFCE Historian Frances Dinan in a release.
“Targeted towards fourth-grade private, public, charter and home-schooled students, the contest promotes FCE’s literacy and community-involvement initiatives. Students competed by writing essays and creating original artwork around the theme of responsibility.”
Last year’s top winner, Matteo Romero of Kalaheo School, went on to take top honors at the Hawai‘i State FCE competition and finished third at the national competition.
Character Counts is a national program promoting the six pillars of character, including trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. These characteristics are considered core ethical values that promote a positive learning climate and a culture of kindness, making schools a safer place to learn.
Awards for the KAFCE Character Counts were mailed out to the winners because of the ongoing pandemic preventing gathering for the traditional luncheon awards.
“A special shout out to our Hui Holomua FCE members, many over the age of 75, for their enduring support by making yarn lei, printing certificates and assistance in mailing the awards to students,” Dinan said.
“We’re thankful for the judges, teachers, administrators and parents who continue to help us grow a culture of kind, respectful,and responsible learners.”
Ryder Vivas of the King Kaumuali‘i Elementary School took second place in the KAFCE contest after getting help from his teacher Nathan Cotter.
Jaeneiah Balubar and teacher Katherine Stennett of the Elsie Wilcox Elementary School finished third.
Four honorable mentions were announced, including Liliana Ki‘ilau of Wilcox Elementary with teachers Karen Heresa and Dana Fujii; Elias Gaines of Wilcox Elementary with teacher Ann Keeler; Kawehi Oana-Makanani of Kapa‘a Elementary School with teacher Tabita Secretario, and Emma Aki of Kapa‘a Elementary with teacher Milagros Secretario.
Source: The Garden Island