Saturday, April 21, 2012

Global Youth Service Day

Are you wondering what Global Youth Service Day and Youth Service America are all about?  Oh well here is a quick description of what it is. 

YSA (Youth Service America) improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5 to 25, serving in substantive roles. Through grant programs, resource development, trainings and networking opportunities, YSA promotes a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership and achievement. Sponsored by YSA, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is the largest service event in the world, celebrating and mobilizing the millions of children and youth who improve their communities each day of the year through service. GYSD 2013 will be held April 26-28, marking the event’s 25th anniversary. For more information, visit and 

Here is a link to see what the KIC students goal were and how we were able to be a part of such a huge movement.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Congratulations KES and KIC!

Congratulations KIC and KES students! 
This year has been filled with wonderful surprises and exciting news.  Earlier this month we received word that KIC received 2 grants to help out with our Native Hawaiian garden initiative.  We started off the year with $650 from the Chevron grant working in conjunction with the Hawaii Community Foundation.  This helped us start off our garden however we quickly noticed that this amount was not enough to fulfill all the plans and goals that we had planned out for our garden.  Students then utilized their skills in business letter writing to urge the community, neighboring businesses and organizations to help with funding.  Although not all replied back, we did find that more and more helpers were willing to contribute to our goals within the garden.  (Check out our KIC International Peace Garden donations page on our school website for the listing of all the donations received)

Since the students worked on the letters, I decided to write up grants to receive further funding from outside sources.  Through the Kokua Hawaii Foundation “Environmental Education Mini grant” KIC was able to receive $850 to help out with garden material costs and tools. 

KIC students also received a $1,000 Disney Friends for Change Grant from Youth Service America (YSA) and Disney to support their Native Hawaiian learning garden.  Disney Friends for Change ( is a program designed to inspire kids and families to join together and make a positive impact on their communities.  Fifty Friends for Change grants were offered domestically through a competitive application process that identified youth-led projects that inspire kids, families and communities to work together.  On April 21st, which coincides with the Global Youth Service Day, KIC students will partner up with the Running Club (4th and 5th graders) to work in the agricultural section, which is one of the 6 sections of their native garden.  The students, parents and staff will work on various tasks within the garden.  More information about this is forthcoming from the KIC writer’s team.

Again, great job KES and KIC students!  I am amazed at all the hard work you are willing to put in to Keone’ula’s first ever school garden.  I am also fascinated at the amount of learning we are able to accomplish through this project, as well as all the fun we have had with nothing but dirt and plants.  Truly great experiences and great reflections…Thank you!

Ms Coffin

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Students Speak Up

After 3 days of working in the garden, here are a few students who reflected on their experiences with the garden:

*Featuring, SHANTELLE SAGUCIO (KIC, Ms. Firestone's class)

"Working on the garden was tiring, but I had fun pulling out the weeds and digging up the dirt.  I feel proud coming out to help with the Native Hawaiian garden. All of my hard work and efforts will help create a wonderful school garden that kids can use.  Although it was difficult loosening up the dirt/soil, I enjoyed every minute of it. I am blessed to be a part of this change within our school."

*Featuring, SARA TREMMEL (KIC, Ms. Coffin's class)

"The garden that KIC is working on is progressing and improving day by day. A couple weeks ago, a few KIC members and I went and softened up the soil. It wasn't easy: we had to go barefooted in the mud! As unexpected as it may seem, it was actually really fun and I was glad to be a part of something that the whole school can enjoy in the future. We also started to plant the taro. This was very exciting, because I never got to do something like this before. Taro was always something fun to me- poi can be made out of it! So I picked out some kalo (taro)and waited in line to plant it. First, we dig a hole for the kalo. Next, we plant it. I made sure that my taro plant was nice and safe in its new "home". Finally, I covered the root of the kalo with dirt.
Like I said before, this was a new, exciting experience and it's definitely something to be proud of! I can't wait to come back in the future to see how Keone'ula's new garden is growing, and I hope for the best with it!"

*Featuring, Alyssa Sarmiento (KIC, Ms. Firestone's class)

"The Saturday meeting to work on the garden was great! It got me to be hard-working, MUDDY, but I still had a load of fun! The most exciting part was when I first got to go into the mud. It felt so weird! Like squishy, wet, and cold-ish, warm-ish. The least favorite part was when I got a bunch of scratches from the coral under the mud :( But luckily, they were only small scratches and I know that everything I do is going towards a good cause for our K.I.C peace garden. The garden will contribute a lot to our Hawaiian Studies subject, since it is a place where Kupuna can teach us and actually show us some of the actual plants she will be talking about like a Kalo patch. I hope that the garden will finish soon so that 2011-2012's K.I.C members will get to experience Kupuna teachings in the garden. Overall, I am glad my name will be in included in the making! :) "

*Featuring, Precious Antonio (6th grade, Ms. Firestone's class)

"Working on the garden was really fun! Helping out made me feel like I'm helping to make Keone'ula more beautiful, knowing that we are making a difference. Even though I am not in K.I.C, I would still help with anything! Everyone should have an experience like this. At the end of the day I was happy and I was proud of myself!"

 *Featuring, Hoku Hutchison (KIC, Ms. Firestone's class)

"Working in the KIC garden was a fun experience.  Even though I got dirty it didn't matter because that's what KIC is all about.  It was my first time working in a garden and I didn't know what to do.  As I was stepping into the mud barefooted, my first reaction was "Cool.  Oh my gosh, I can't believe I am doing this!"  But after awhile I got use to it and I was ready to get down and dirty. I put all of my effort into mushing the mud to loosen it up and I stayed in it a little longer so that it wouldn't dry up so quickly. At the end of the day, all of our effort and hard work paid off.  Keone'ula's first educational garden had successfully started."
Love, Happiness and Laughter!
**Featuring, Jon Javier or JJ (KIC, Ms. Coffin's class)

"Reflecting on my experience at the garden, I would say it was very dirty, mushy and a messy job.  For the past 2 Saturdays, I thought I would never enjoy working in such dirt since I had no idea what to do.  I have always thought that planting would be to dig up the dirt, put seeds in the dirt and watch it grow.  BUT no, because it takes a process of pulling out weeds from their roots, breaking down the soil, putting in mulch and more.  If I were to rate how tired I was at the end of each Saturday, I would have to say a 8 or 9.  It was hard work, however even though there is still much to do, when there are a lot of people it makes it easier.  And, through out all of the hardwork, I would definitely want to do it again."

Featuring Sakeena Gaston (KIC, Ms. Coffin's class)

Honestly, working at the Peace Garden has been an amazing experience for me. Not just because our school has actually got a garden but also because I actually got to learn a little bit about gardening. Gardening is something that I normally wouldn’t do but it was a good experience. As we moved along and took time out of our day to come out and work on this beautiful garden has been spectacular!!! Having the opportunity to work hard along with my other K.I.C. friends has been fun. It was hard but I got  through it with help from my friends and staff members. There was times when I wanted to give up but my friends kept me energized and working. I cant help but say, “ALL THAT HARD WORK REALLY PAYS OFF!”.

You see? The K.I.C. members really had fun and are already learning so much! K.I.C. can't wait until the International Peace Garden is complete and a success! Stay tuned!

Model it, Girls! (Sakeena & Alyssa)

Big Smile, Ali'i!

The Writers and Planners 

Published By: Nikki B.
Edited By: Catherine J.