The Slam Poetry night was memorable because the kids hearts were lit up, inspired, and they had confidence. You got the sense they were thinking 'everyone is looking at me because I have created something. This is my piece, and I'm sharing it.
- PLACES Teacher
Community School Services
PLACES partners with the Hawaii DOE and Kamehameha Schools to organize social, health, cultural, and extra-curricular resources in a community school model. The goal of this effort is to wrap support around children to ensure their healthy development and learning. Both in-school and out-of-school activities are organized to accomplish this goal.
Program for After-School Literacy Support (PALS)
PALS is an after school program at that serves children in grades 4 – 6 in a small group setting and supports children and teachers in middle and high school in project-based learning. Students in PALS engage with teachers and other community members in projects that have relevance to their own lives and that produce a number of important outcomes, including nurturing children's identities as learners, community activists, and as stewards of the environment.
Mini Doc Program
Mini-Docs is a program offered through the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC). Doctors and medical students from A.T. Stills Universitywork with students over six sessions to study issues around health and emotional well-being and different medical screening practices. Fourth grade students learned how to check for reflexes and listen to heartbeats! These fourth grade mini-docs also looked into each other's ears, eyes, mouths, and throats and learned to do a quick visual dental screening.
Mālama Club is a garden focused experience that provides students with opportunities to mālama 'āina — to learn how to take care of the land. Mālama Club meets in large gardens located on school grounds during recess times. Children have opportunities to work with adults to create, build, and plant various kinds of gardens, including raised-bed gardens, container gardens and aquaponics systems. They plant seeds, transplant baby plants, weed, water, and harvest yields from the garden that they then share with others at school or at home.
In addition, children explore Native plants and learn mo'olelo (story) and 'ōlelo no'eau (proverbial saying) related to each plant, discuss the uses and work with recipes using the plant, and explore the plant through the arts. For example, one week the children explored ulu or breadfruit. Students learned an 'ōlelo no'eau that translates to "nothing is accomplished without preparation". They used the breadfruit brushes (flower) to paint pictures. They then cooked and ate ulu chips in the garden.
The Creative Arts experience allows children from every grade level to experience at least two different kinds of arts. In past years students were moving, shaking, and creating in creative movement classes, drumming classes, drama, and more!
Fifth and sixth graders created a dance video with their hip hop lessons from dance instructor Erin Uyehara of Embraceology. Mrs. Uyehara worked with the students over four different sessions on a self-produced remix of songs. The sixth graders will perform their dance at the school's family night.
The Creative Arts experiences include:
Creative Movement with Mimi Winosky
Art with the Honolulu Museum of Art
Drumming with Michael Wall
Zumba with Keola Kalima
Football and Fitness with Rich Miano from Hawaii Speed and Quickness
Hip Hop with Erin Uyehara from Embraceology
Drama with the Alliance for Drama Education
Movement is important for health, well-being, and for learning. Lucky Waianae Elementary School students began each Monday mornings with a little pick me up and learning buster, Zumba! As familiar, high energy songs were heard wafting over the school grounds for fifteen minutes students shook off the weekend and stimulated their brains for the upcoming week. If they only knew that that this is exercise in disguise or that all of this movement is getting their brains ready for learning!
The Media Club provides opportunities for children to explore and participate in digital medium in an after-school setting. Children work with experts and artists in the field of video, photography, and production to learn how to create their own films. They explore developing their own ideas through storytelling, script-writing, and storyboarding. Last year a group participated in the First Annual Wai'anae Coast Student Film Festival. This year the children in the media club will create, act, video, edit, add musical score and complete short pieces or PSAs for viewing at the Second Annual Festival.