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No beach day for second graders of Kalaheo Elementary School

LIHU‘E — If you save $100 a month from now when you are 8 years old, how much money would you have when you’re ready to retire when you are 60 years old, the representative from Hawai‘iUSA Federal Credit Union asked the second grade students on Friday, when the students arrived for a field trip to Kukui Grove Center.

Hands eagerly shot into the air, and the students were amazed that they would be looking at nearly $1 million in the lesson on interest and compound interest.

Nearly 80 students from the second grade at Kalaheo Elementary School converged at Kukui Grove to engage in presentations by different tenants of the shopping center and their community partners. The field trip exposed the students to life skills, different careers and jobs, understanding finances, and the marine environment.

“Kukui Grove is the heart of the community,” said Melissa McFerrin Warrack of Kukui Grove. “This is the first time the shopping center has hosted a field trip of this size, and the participating tenants are all active in the community. This event would not have been successful without Jean Souza of Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery coordinating the different parts of the field trip.”

Souza said the lead for the field trip is teacher Annalisa Rivera, who used to teach fourth grade during the pre-COVID era Science at Beach Student Workshops at Puolo Point, Salt Pond.

“We didn’t have Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery back then,” Souza said. “Now that Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery is open, I can’t go to the beach, anymore. But Annalisa really wanted a field trip, so we sat down and worked through what she wanted students to gain from a field trip.”

Some of the topics students worked with included character values led by Ryan Fussell of the U.S. Army in the U.S. Armed Forces Career Center, which works with JROTC students in high school. Warrack said it’s never too early to introduce words like loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage to younger students.

“The teachers said they wanted movement,” Souza said. “Premier Martial Arts with sensei Kenn Firestone taught the kids ‘respect’ and ‘focus.’ And Aloha Dance Studio added ‘music, beat, tempo, and rhythm.’”

On relevant news items, Jamie Thornton of National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Fisheries had students creating honu costuming, and Carol Everett of the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery talked about honu and other marine life in marine etiquette, getting the students to lie on the floor for a perspective from a crab’s view.

The Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery buzzed with activity as Capt. Geoff Wall led a discussion on humpback whales with an actual baleen sample, while others inside worked with Steve Soltysik on building a replica of the Hokulea, laced with discussions of where the Hokulea is now before starting its four year world cruise.

“This is really good,” one passing shopper said. “You would think the kids would be running wild, but they’re really well-behaved. How come we never had things like this when I was in school?”

David Duncan, a Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau Jr. Lifeguard instructor, volunteered his time as a community partner to engage in ocean safety that included the history of the surfboard utilizing historic surfboards from his collection.

“The students are learning,” said a teacher, who was rotating between one of the eight different lesson stations. “They are behaving very well, a lot better than I expected, and the presenters are doing a fabulous job.”
Source: The Garden Island

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