We've Got a Story to Tell - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

We've Got a Story to Tell

Posted on October 19, 2008

by Dr. Edna Hussey on October 19, 2008

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, and future.

Answer to read-aloud with Famous Amos: chocolate chip cookies and milk!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey