Unfortunately, a playground is one important part of school that our keiki have gone without for far too long. With the high humidity and rain, the old playgrounds rusted to the point that they were deemed unsafe for our children and, in 2017, they were condemned by the Department of Education. Consequently, the students now have only grass for a play area, and a single walkway on which to bounce a ball. They do not have swings, slides, tether balls, basketball courts, jungle gyms, or any other kind of play structure.
Pahoa has had to deal with a lot the past few years; volcanic eruptions, tropical storms and earthquakes. Many families were forced to evacuate last May when a volcanic vent opened just 4.5 miles from our school. Some students and staff lost their homes. We here at Keonepoko Elementary have been through so much, and through it all, we stand strong and ready to learn.
Due to the high number of schools in need of equipment, it is difficult for the Department of Education to provide all of the funds needed to build a new playground for us. That is why we are trying to raise the money ourselves, and we need your help!
Besides our amazing teachers and staff, fun school activities and aloha spirit, a beautiful playground would be another wonderful reason to come to school. It would give our students opportunities to exercise, encourage healthy social interactions, and promote positive emotional development. Plus, these students deserve it! Thank you for your generosity and support of our haumana (students).
Note: Funds are going into a club account for nonprofit Friends of Keonepoko (the school cannot take funds directly). Judith Tang, a teacher at the school, is president.