Posted on May 7, 2017
Everyone loves a grand performance, particularly May Day as itʻs uniquely celebrated in Hawai'i and especially at Mid-Pacific. I smiled throughout the mele and hula, eyes scanning every student on stage, appreciating their gestures, facial expressions, and whole body telling holoholo stories. It was an upbeat, lively performance matching the theme of traveling to different places on the islands and enjoying the distinctive experience of each place -- Waikiki surf, Kapahulu beef stew, Mānoa winds, Kahului sugar cane, to name a few. Faculty member Torry Montes aptly captured in her blog the profusion of color associated with May Day -- As the children performed the hula, it was as if a rainbow had come to life. There were the scarlet voyagers of preschool, the swish of the sandy skirts of first grade, and the profusion of colorful blossoms of the girls of third and fourth grade. (http://www.midpac.edu/elementary/3_4M/2017/05/-34fm-inquiry-o.php). Add to this sensory experience the fragrance of pikake, plumeria, tuberose, puakenikeni, and I believe youʻve glimpsed heaven on earth.
My personal favorite was the finale, seeing the entire preschool and elementary together singing "How Far Iʻll Go." I have every confidence that our artists, innovators, and individuals will go far. The horizon before them beckons, and one thing I know about our students -- they are risk-takers! When you hear the song again, think of your children. The song is about them.
I would be remiss not to acknowledge the learning process for children and adults leading to the performance because it was, after all, more than a May Day performance. Music specialist Sarahlea Kekuna began planning a year in advance, in collaboration with kumu hula Lanakila Casupang. She met with parent co-chairs Heather Salonga and Karen Wright (powerhouse parent leaders!) who brought together parent volunteers from every grade level. For the past month, the Tech Lab was transformed into May Day Central with costumes, sewing machines, ironing board, clothing racks, and trays of sorted flowers to make haku headbands. Parents stealthily moved in and out like friendly menehune getting the jobs done. Throughout the week, parents dropped off foliage in autoline for the beautiful floral arrangements that graced the stage. All the while, Ms. Kekuna ran practices in the dining room where the students could rehearse their mele and hula. When I take the 30,000-foot view from my perch in the office, the most amazing benefit is the aspect of community building. It literally takes a school community to raise a May Day program!, including the maintenance crew who helped to prep and clean the gymnasium, and a gifted, talented, patient teacher in Ms. Kekuna to direct the entire enterprise with grace! The true learning is always in the journey.
Parents, take a bow with your children! The faculty and I applaud you and the generous support you extended to celebrate 2017 May Day with us!
All photos in my blog are courtesy of Associate Director of Communication Scot Allen. Hereʻs the link to his photo gallery: http://gallery.midpac.edu/
E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.