There's nothing like a good story and a great storyteller to recreate the drama! Every year at about this time, we treat our students to a session with a professional storyteller connected with the Talk Story Festival, under the direction of Jeff Gere, held at McCoy Pavilion. These storytellers from across the U.S. participate in a three-day celebration of story, dance, and music. On Tuesday, Cathy Spagnoli seized our imagination as she retold stories from her childhood and Japanese folktales. Inspired by beautiful hand-woven story blankets given to her from Cambodian and South African friends, Ms. Spagnoli created a hand-drawn poster with sketches of her own memories and shared some of her favorite stories.
On Friday, another great storyteller -- Famous Amos (Wally Amos) -- drove
onto campus in his you-can't-miss-it white pickup truck gleefully
painted with watermelon images! He delighted the preschoolers and
kindergartners with his animated reading of several children's books,
among them Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham. And then there was the
intermittent trademark blowing of his kazoo! The children responded
with chuckles and laughter, sometimes filling in words because they
could make sense of the story and easily recognized the end rhymes.
And how do you think we ended his read-aloud? (Remember, it's Famous
Amos). See the end of my letter for the answer.
About 130 children from kindergarten through fifth grade completed
their flu vaccinations on Thursday under an hour! Thanks to the
comforting hugs and words of several volunteer mothers, many of the
children shed fewer tears. Students up through middle school and many
faculty and staff signed up for a free vaccination. The vaccination
process was well organized by Lory Gaskill, MPI's school nurse.
I waited until Sunday morning to write my usual weekly letter so that I
could report briefly on Moon Over Manoa, one of MPI's major fundraisers
for campus projects, such as the renovation of Bakken Auditorium. Held
this year in one of Sheraton Waikiki's ballrooms, the evening was
elegant, festive and high energy, an impressive showcase of some of
MPI's talents and treasures. MPI's award-winning hula halau, directed
by kumu hula Lanalika Casupang, performed several hula kahiko. The MPI
choir, consisting of first through tenth graders, sang an impressive
repertoire under the direction of Diane Koshi, the elementary music
specialist and choir director. During the sit-down dinner, MPSA's
theater group sang a number from the musical Rent, which will be
performed in November. Howard Dashevsky, a proud MPI parent, served as
emcee for the gala.
Many thanks to key organizers Holly Gorence, Florence Rice, Paul
Czubryt, Lisa Fife and the Silent Auction Committee, many of whom were
our very own preschool and elementary parents. Special thanks to Linda
Lileikis and her team of parents who organized great theme baskets
filled with gift certificates and items. Such a wonderful array of
auction items, from dinner and hotel certificates to art pieces and
guess what -- dinner at President and Mrs. Rice's home, prepared and
served by the school administrators! Parents, a warm mahalo for your
contributions to the gift baskets and for your presence at Moon Over
Manoa. Even in these challenging economic times, event participation
increased from 350 last year to nearly 550 this year. There was
generous support from all members of our community -- corporate
sponsors, families, and friends of Mid-Pacific. There certainly is a
(moon) glow about Mid-Pacific Institute that's casting a brilliant
spotlight on the story we have to tell about our history, traditions,
Answer to read-aloud with Famous Amos: chocolate chip cookies and milk!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey