Into the Outdoors - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Into the Outdoors

Posted on March 22, 2015

by Dr. Edna Hussey on March 22, 2015


The last two weeks prior to spring break should appropriately be entitled "Outdoor Learning" because nearly every class was on a field trip of some kind to gather research, experience nature, or celebrate community in a natural setting. In this photo, the preschoolers shared the wonders of Ho'omaluhia Gardens in Kane'ohe with their parents. Since January, the preschoolers have been constructing new memories through their rich, sensory experience of nature in focused observations. In the atelier (art studio in the preschool), the children analyzed the natural elements and represented their understanding in drawings and maps. With help from the atelierista (studio teacher), their symbolic representations became large clay pieces to mark the areas of the garden for their parents. This past Wednesday, parents and their children met at Ho'omaluhia so that the parents could also share the experience of the garden with their children as the teachers. In a morning meeting, the children developed a list of reminders so their parents could be well prepared (the email was sent home). Among the long list of reminders: no cell phones! no high heels! act like kids! (photo courtesy of Leslie Gleim)

PS group photo Hoolamhulia.jpgPreschoolers and their parents

Erdman campfire.jpgThird and fourth graders who work beside me in morning autoline could barely contain their excitement in anticipation of the annual trek to Camp Erdman in Mokuleia. Students learned more about their island environment and the natural habitats of land and sea creatures in relation to all theyʻve learned about the wetlands. The camp experience is also about the camp experience -- sleeping away from home, telling stories and singing songs around a bonfire, team-building activities, field games, and eating family-style meals together in a large room. Add the long bus ride to and from Mokuleia, Iʻm sure every third and fourth still has camp memories swirling around in their heads. (photo courtesy of Torry Montes)

5th rgade on bus.jpgFifth graders left Honolulu Tuesday morning for Camp Nauʻe in Haʻena, Kauaʻi, and returned home Thursday afternoon. Every year the fifth graders spend two nights on a neighbor island, their last bonding experience as an elementary class before transitioning to middle school. Within walking distance from the camp is Limahuli Garden and Preserve, where native species of plants, particularly kalo, continue to be cultivated in agricultural terraces made of lava rock. The students worked in the gardens, helping to remove invasive plants. The rest of the students' camp experience is everything that makes the camp experience memorable -- sitting under a canopy of star-studded skies, learning about the constellations through Hawaiian mythology, making s'mores around the campfire, swimming, hiking, and free time for friends to talk and play together. (photos courtesy of Sarah Field)

Limahuli cleanup.jpg

Last week the first and second graders spent the day at the Hawaiʻi Nature Center to also learn about the wonders of the outdoors. It was a fairly long uphill hike but with many stops along the way to look at tiny fish in the stream, insects under leaves and rocks, and to breathe in the fresh air. See this blog for photos:

Anthony on slide.jpgAnd what a fitting way to welcome spring break than students and their families celebrate at the annual Hoʻolauleʻa this past Friday! This photo appeared in the Friday edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (photo by Cindy Ellen Russell).

During these two weeks of spring break, the school office is open regular hours, 7:00am-3:30pm. Students and faculty will return to campus on Monday, April 6. On behalf of the faculty and staff, Happy Easter! Enjoy the gift of your children who remind us often about how we are abundantly blessed by their presence in our lives.

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.