Posted on November 20, 2016
Yes, thatʻs President Obama holding up a personalized kite the students prepared for Kite Day last semester, flown on Kite Day, then mailed to him at the White House. Tomiko Conner, co-director of the afterschool program, is also a Mid-Pacific Archive volunteer. Inspired by the idea of a personalized student-designed kite for Coolidge then flown on Kite Day in 1924, Ms. Conner sent our kite in the hope that President Obama would actually receive the kite. About two weeks ago, she received an envelope from President Obama with a photo and personal message:
October 24, 2016
I saw the fun kite you designed, and I wanted to reach out to send my best wishes and let you know how much I believe in you. If you work hard in school and look for ways to help others, I have no doubt youʻll contribute to shaping a future of greater possibility for our country and the world.
Again, thanks for thinking of me. Dream big, stay curious, and know Iʻm rooting for you!
Ms. Conner shared the surprise with our students at the November assembly this past Thursday, much to the excitement, applause, and cheers from students and faculty. An historic Mid-Pacific moment 92 years ago revived and celebrated again at Mid-Pacific! Look for the letter and photos to be displayed in Wilcox dining room in a few weeks. Enjoy the photos here: Presidential Kite 2016.pdf
At the assembly, several preschoolers representing their community shared comments about the Fly House project. This project began when the children noticed flies in their classroom over several days. The topic of flies took up much of the group meeting conversation and led to the children expressing ideas about the flies needing a living space of their own. The children sketched designs, collected natural materials from around the campus, 3-d printed furniture, and added the most incredible details that only 3- and 4-year-olds keenly observe. This mini-project taught the teachers about the empathetic response of our youngest learners for living creatures, even for lowly, pesky flies. They, too, our children told us, deserve an environment where flies can eat, sleep, work, and live together as a community.
To celebrate International Education Week, several classrooms invited high school ESL students for some lively cultural exchange. Using their iPads to display photos, ESL students (great conversational practice for the students) talked about their home countries, families, favorite foods, and education back home. Our fifth graders also prepared a few slides to share with new high school friends. I observed a few classrooms and noticed immediately the display of mutual respect of students with one another. Students were engaged, focused, listening carefully, and thoroughly enjoying the experience. We hope to provide more opportunities for our students to learn more from our ESL students.
This Thursday and Friday, school offices across campus will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving Day. Much for which to be grateful. On behalf of the faculty and staff, I hope you and your family take time together to celebrate the bountiful blessings in each other. Thank you for the gift of your children and your support. You and your child, along with our talented, caring faculty and staff, are the heart and spirit of Mid-Pacific.
E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.