Posted on July 10, 2011
Summer school, as most summer schools go, tend to be daycare dropping-off places where children pass the time until someone picks them up at the end of the day. Some parents are relieved their children have somewhere to go. Some children experience fear and dread when placed in a new setting having to make new friends and deciphering what the teacher really wants.
But Mid-Pacific's summer school is not just any place.
Over the five-week session, students formed meaningful relationships with teachers and peers. The weekly blogs posted by each teacher, including the most recent this weekend, describe some of the best learning experiences for children. The final showcase of presentations at the recent assembly provided just a glimpse into some exciting learning. We heard a witty math song about money, marveled at towers made from geometric shapes. listened to humorous perspectives from a pair of torn pants, and connected with writers' emotions. We held our breath as students set their Rube Goldberg machines in motion then viewed their inventions. We saw robotic cars stop and go at the raise of a hand then maneuver an obstacle course. A 3-minute video piqued our curiosity about an iMovie premiere later that morning.
In the afternoon assembly held outdoors, we were treated to a display of student art work, an impressive presentation in Mandarin, snippets of science experiments, and a fun p.e. demonstration using sticks, balls, and scoopers!
It has been a whirlwind of a summer. And our students, guided by talented faculty, experienced learning that was both fun and challenging. They learned to problem solve together. They were encouraged to think creatively, imaginatively, and deeply. They were asked to convey understanding in multiple ways -- speaking, writing, building, singing, moving, sewing, and painting.
There were also valuable lessons through service learning. The Money Doesn't Grow on Trees' sale raised about $1,000, which will go to the Hawaiian Humane Society and Surfriders Foundation, two very worthy community groups to support their ongoing work. Students in the sewing and knitting class delivered their hand-sewn blankets to children in chemotherapy at Kapi`olani Women's and Children's Center.
While this will be my last weekly blog until school resumes August 9 for the preschool and elementary, we continue a two-week extended session filled with field trips into the community. We hope to see our new friends from schools in the community return to MPI next summer. Lei of aloha to our MPI summer faculty and teaching assistants for their efforts in creating a unique summer experience for all students. A hui hou.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey