Although school is out for the summer, the responsibilities of running a newly established parent teacher organization never end. Just ask LHES Foundation president and Kakou chairwoman Natalie Ropa, who along with other members of the group, is already planning their next event and envisioning how to make their second year an even greater success.
When asked to reflect on Kakou’s first year in action, Ropa points to the LHES mural, Kakou Carnival and Teacher Appreciation Week as evidence of the positive impact their organization has had over the last year.
“We were able to get a lot accomplished through partnerships with different organizations,” she said. “We had some big wins that could not have been pulled off without the help of our parents, aunties, uncles and supporters.”
End-of-Year Events Enjoyed by Students and Teachers
Kakou Carnival, held April 30, drew nearly 300 students and their families for a fun-filled day of games, face painting, giveaways and prizes. Kids had a blast playing classic carnival games such as balloon pop and ring toss, and redeeming their hard-won stamps for prizes.
Kakou partnered with Four Seasons Lanai, who provided the game materials and resources for all to enjoy through the resort’s Keiki For All Seasons program. It also welcomed Lanai Community Health Center (LCHC) to share information about healthy eating and nutrition with the students.
The following week Kakou and LCHC set up a breakfast for LHES faculty for Teacher Appreciation Week. Four Seasons, Richard’s Market, LHES Foundation and parents donated items to treat the hardworking teachers to breakfast dishes, goodie bags and fruits. Volunteers from LCHC manned the breakfast buffet and greeted teachers who came in during their first free period to grab a bite to eat.
Next Kakou Event Marks Back-to-School Season
Ropa and the other Kakou members are already busy planning for the next school year, starting with their first ever back-to-school event, Ho‘omalamalama, on July 25.
Ho‘omalamalama, meaning to enlighten or give light, is focused on welcoming new and returning teachers by providing a space for the community and the teachers to interact around social activities. The event will feature informational booths, food, entertainment and games. There will also be a chance to support our community clubs and sports teams, which will be manning booths to fundraise for the upcoming year.
“We’re planning on starting the school year with a bang. We’ll build upon the momentum we’ve gained throughout this semester,” said Ropa. “Kakou is fortunate to have the support of the community behind us. It’s all about providing better opportunities for our children to learn, which starts with building a solid base of support for teachers and parents.”