Thank you so much for your dedication to change and efforts to include children and schools in your mission!
My name is Kacie and I am a teacher at Wai'anae Elementary School in Hawai'i. Wai'anae Elementary is a public DOE school located on the leeward coast of the island of O'ahu. The coast is home to the largest number of Native Hawaiians and disadvantaged children in the state. It is also one of O‘ahu’s most rural areas heavily affected by the day to day struggles of today --homelessness, poverty, pollution, drugs, crime, adequate nutrition, etc. As a school and residential community we are striving to improve and provide innovative, effective, and engaging learning environments through strong student-family-teacher relationships, hands-on activities, project-based education, and love for learning.
We are currently working to kickstart a school garden in hopes to reconnect our students, school 'ohana, and community to their food source, understanding of the land, and desire to make healthy decisions (composting, recycling, organic planting, foods for our planet, ecological footprint awareness, sustainability).
By rooting ourselves to our environment, we learn about lokahi (unity or harmony), laulima (many hands working together), aloha 'ina (love and respect for the land; stewardship), and m?lama 'ina (taking care of one another, nurturing the land and recognizing that we are interdependent systems that help each other flourish and live on for future generations). We want to raise awareness about climate change and make students aware of the situation and our actions. We want to strengthen and fortify the resilience of our youth, families, and community to build the skills necessary to succeed in today's 21st century — to love our planet and tackle and devise solutions to modern day challenges.
With that being said, may we please have five parachutes to educate and enforce our school's environmental initiatives? A little over 90% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch, thus the need for financial help.
Parachute 1: 3rd grade
Parachute 2: 4th grade
Parachute 3: 5th grade
Parachute 4: 6th grade
Parachute 5: shared amongst kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, and FSC