Posted on March 3, 2012
The weather report for Friday March 2 was cloudy with some rain showers. But not so in Manoa, and certainly not over Mid-Pacific Institute! We celebrated a sunny, tradewind-blessed Grand Parents' Day with nearly 300 young-at-heart great-grandparents, grandparents, parents and other family members who experienced first-hand the adventures of learning at MPI.
Guests read stories together, collaborated with their grandchildren on poetry pieces, listened to student presentations, fashioned artistic pieces for mobiles, worked on origami, and other activities. After light refreshments, students and guests wended their way to the auditorium for a special slide presentation on the inquiry-based curriculum and instructional practices implemented in the preschool and elementary. Learning took center stage as various student speakers explained the inquiry process from question-generating to immersion in information to making our thinking visible to an example of project-based learning. Sans narration, even the photo images alone told the story of inquiry learning. The preschool video, aptly entitled "The Wonder of Learning," captured the essence of learning that begins in preschool and continues to grow and deepen throughout elementary and onward. Even the uplifting rhythm and lyrics of the accompanying music reminded us "It's a beautiful life!" at MPI. But there was one more message to share that morning.
The MPI Choir sang two selections from their developing repertoire that they will be sharing on their Queen Emma Heritage Tour to London and Paris this summer! (You'll be hearing more about their upcoming tour.) Led my Music specialist Diane Koshi, the elementary students sang Na Ali`i, a popular Hawaiian song about Hawaii's kings, as a preview of May Day on May 4th. I was so impressed that even our first graders could so confidently enunciate all the Hawaiian language lyrics.
As our closing song, also performed using sign language, the children invited their grandparents to help build a special world (Build Me a World, lyrics by Woody Guthrie) --
Build me a world where there's hope for children
To grow with no poverty, no hatred or war.
Build me a world where there's room to move in
With wide, open scenery and clear skies above.
I'll climb the mountains and look out over the sea.
I'll build the bridges connecting people to me.
Build me a world where there's no more sickness.
We share all our promises, the rich and the poor.
I'll build this world if you'll stand beside me.
Give me hope, give me faith, give me love.
Altogether, from the morning class activities and slide presentation to the closing song, we hope our celebration with Grand Parents (which I happen to be!) will be as memorable for them as it will be for the children. Congratulations to our oldest Great Grand Parent Esther Sato (great grandchildren Dakota and Jacob Bow) who is a spry 96 years young! And to Rene Kadzielawa, Great Grand Aunt of Gabriela Kadzielawa, who traveled the farthest east--7,370 miles from Poland and Yoko Mori, Grand Mother of Hana Murphy, who traveled the farthest west (4,046 miles) from Japan. Thank you, Grand Parents, who give us hope, faith, and love.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey