COURTESY OF WAIANAE HIGH SCHOOL
Students in Waianae's Junior ROTC program, such as Paula Nansen, volunteered with the Read Aloud Program at Waianae Elementary School.
Tales to tell
Students encourage love of reading in the community
When many of us think of community service, we think of donating supplies or picking up trash. Students went beyond that by helping to advance literacy in our community.
Waianae High School
Ka Leo O Waianae
85-251 Farrington Highway
Blue and red
Searider Story Night, which began in English teacher Wanelle Kaneshiro's class, is a new program that allows students to learn and get involved with the community.
"We wanted to promote literacy and have our Health and Human Services seniors promote literacy as a community service," Kaneshiro said.
Kaneshiro's third-period English class divided into six groups, and each group chose a children's story to act out for the community.
"On Nov. 10, we had 'The Three Little Pigs,' 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears,' and 'Jack and the Beanstalk." Dec. 8 featured 'The Ugly Duckling,' 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'Hansel and Gretel,'" Kaneshiro said.
One requirement is that each group find an adult reader to narrate its story.
"If they get an adult reader they get so many points, and if they get someone who is more well known, like the mayor, they get extra points," Kaneshiro said.
COURTESY OF WAIANAE HIGH SCHOOL
Groups in Wanelle Kaneshiro's classes act out children's stories during Searider Story Night. MaryAnn DelaVega and Carol Grande perform in "Hansel and Gretel."
The project continued with her AP English class. They began planning in November and performed their skits in January and February.
"I was in 'Rumpelstiltskin,' and I played a dwarf in 'Snow White' and Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid,'" senior Aaron Catillo said. "I was also the dragon in 'Sleeping Beauty.' I like to do it for the kids and it's fun. The extra credit is good too."
Searider Story Night is not the only literacy event that got students involved. The Junior ROTC program volunteered for a second year with the Read Aloud Program at Waianae Elementary School.
"Last year we came out and we had a great turnout," JROTC adviser Sgt. Haines Rego said. "This is a service learning project for us, and they really wanted to get back into it. Waianae Elementary has been very supportive and invited us back again."
The Read Aloud Program was held at Waianae Elementary on Sept. 6 and 20, Oct. 10 and 25 and Nov. 8 and 22. JROTC students were required to participate in two out of the six nights.
Most cadets do not read to the children, but they assist in all other aspects of the program.
"First we make sure the kids are paying attention to the reader, and we escort them to and from the cafeteria, and in the cafeteria we pass out books," junior Kevin Fonseca explained.
From Searider Story Night to the Read Aloud Program, students participated to help promote literacy and serve their community. Though they took on the role of teachers, students also learned valuable lessons about the efforts and rewards of community service.
New club helps students build skills in debating
There's a new club in school, the Debate Club. Students express their point of view and back it up with their own opinions.
"We want the students to learn how to be a controversial person and to be able to speak up with their own opinions on a certain topic," co-adviser Aaron Day said.
The Debate Club is a place to learn effective, diplomatic ways to make a point. Students learn how to think logically, argue constructively and express their views on a topic.
"The club offers a good opportunity for the students where they can have extra learning and it can be an exciting extracurricular," co-adviser Daniel Noia said.
In its infancy, the club depends heavily on the leadership and expertise of adults acting as teachers or advisers.
Over time, a fair amount of leadership can come from the students. Klane Alla was elected president and Verna Aoto, vice president.
So far, the team has debated the rules of their club and the cost of driver's education classes. The students usually pick their topic and sides.
"The debate is simple," Noia said. "We have one topic and students pick sides, if they are for or against it. Each person has only a few minutes to make a point or to argue another point. Debates can be very fast and very emotional."
Aoto said, "What I like about the club is that we speak of issues that happen on the school campus and get how other people feel about the topic."
Besides practicing communication and thinking skills, debating bridges the gap between academics and careers.
"One of our main goals for the club is to make this as a fundamental of good writing for the students," Day said. "And maybe someday, they can write a persuasive paper that they can propose to the principal for some changes upon the school."
Noia and Day are shooting for a competition next year. Right now, the team is practicing speech and debate and developing strong confidence.
"I want the students to become comfortable with debating," Noia said. "Once they become comfortable, I want them to compete with other schools in debates. There are also many organizations that sponsor debates, and I would like them to participate in those."
There is much to be learned in competition, but it is in their everyday practice that critical and public speaking skills are developed. The team meets every Monday after school, where members learn to think quickly and organize their thoughts.
"I think this club will work best when there is a strong group identity, when members feel that they are a part of something," Day said.
"Why are you proud to be a Searider?"
"Because my parents went here and it makes me feel proud to go to the same school as my parents."
"Waianae has so much talent embedded in its kids. And being a Searider, it gives me an opportunity to show my talents."
"Because the band program has just started and I was hoping to help get it back up to where it was before."
"Because everybody in Waianae has so much pride and it kinda rubbed off on me."
"I'm proud because I like to represent Waianae and being with my friends."