Posted on May 18, 2014
In last weekʻs blog, I wrote about the Kindergartners year-long inquiry on the MPI community, which became outdoor installations. The Preschoolers also created an outdoor installation of their year-long inquiry, aptly named "Fantastical Journey" took them beyond the MPI gates to Kawaikui Park along Kalanianaole Highway this past Friday, May 16, 6:00-8:00pm. The Preschoolers "adopted" this public park three years ago and renamed it Mele Park, where they have developed a strong relationship with the natural elements. Their Fantastical Journey -- investigating the nuanced meanings of "fantastical" through light, shadow, movement, sound, and narrative -- culminated in the transformation of Mele Park into a fantastical experience for their families. This tree, which the children examined, re-invented, and climbed, was transformed into a lava flow, mesmerizing at night as it was covered with glowing candles (battery-powered, of course!).
Even Paul Maley and his students participated in the fantastical with a dance the preschoolers and high school students created in the dance studio, then performed at dusk at Mele Park. The children became the birds and crabs they had observed right on the beach on research trips to the park. Uncle Lucky dressed as a giant wave, leading the children on a walk along the glowing lava and ocean pathway, down to the sandy shore lined with balloons and lights so that the crabs and birds might also have their own dance party. It was truly a Fantastical evening of imaginative design, where children and their parents could share a fantastical experience.
At the May assembly, we recognized fifth grader Marissa Lum, whose haiku poem was one of the top five from among over 800 entries in a haiku poetry contest sponsored by Japan Air Lines. Students in the afterschool program class on coding, taught by MPIʻs Chief Innovation Officer Brian Dote, shared the game apps they had created. The audience was totally impressed by the ingenuity of the game creators!
After the assembly, the kindergartners explained their outdoor installations, then invited everyone to take a walk past the art exhibitions. Students, hand in hand, enjoyed the experience together -- along the sidewalk by the palms wrapped in different color fabrics, to the installation at the turnaround, under the shower tree with the shiny disks hanging from branches and through the Imagination Tunnel.
Art Specialist Jill Johnson has added one more exhibit located in the main hallway of Wilcox (the elementary office). On the orange and green strips are the fifth graders weekly goals as members of the Peace Team. Each week they reflected on their goals -- an incident of giving, an open opportunity to be of service, an act of kindness and caring, and an example of listening to the needs of others and taking action. They worked diligently to be peace-makers on campus all year long. Hopefully, our fifth graders will have developed these habits of mind and will continue to live peace.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey