Army donates computers to local schools to increase UXO awareness

| April 9, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by 
Joseph Bonfiglio
Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Sen. Daniel Inouye and officials from the Army, the State Department of Education, Hawaii 3R’s, and Native Hawaiian Veterans visited students on the Waianae Coast, April 1, to see how the schools are using computers donated by the Army to increase the students’ knowledge about unexploded ordnance, or UXO. 

The first stop of the day was at Nanaikapono Elementary School. Students presented the visiting party with leis and sang songs with Kupuna (elders) backing them up on ukuleles. 

Sen. Daniel Inouye answers students’ questions at Nanaikapono Elementary School. Inouye visited two schools on the Waianae Coast, to see firsthand how the schools are using computers donated by the Army to increase their safety and knowledge about unexploded ordnance or munitions. ; Maj. John Henderson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, deputy district commander (standing in uniform); members of his staff; and other representatives from USACE, the State Department of Education, the Native Hawaiian Veterans, and Hawaii 3R’s look on. The senator and teams visited two schools in Nanakuli, on the Waianae Coast, to see firsthand how they are using computers donated by the Army to increase their safety and knowledge about unexploded ordnance or munitions.

After a question and answer session, the visiting party saw how students use their laptop computers to learn about UXO and other educational topics.

“This computer donation is so critical for us,” said Debra Knight, principal. “It really helps us to meet our goals for a 21st century education. We have to be able to prepare our kids for the 21st century.”

Next, the visiting party went to Ka Waihona Public Charter Elem. and Middle School in Nanakuli, where they were again greeted with leis and singing and ukulele music.

Alvin Parker, Ka Waihona principal, thanked Inouye and the Army, and took the group to a social studies class where students were studying the Holocaust using their new MacBooks. 

According to Inouye, the two events at the schools brought together the local and Army community in the concept of Ohana (family) and Laulima (working together). 

“This is where the military, the Corps of Engineers, the community, and the Hawaiian organizations all got together, and this is the result,” Inouye said. “We have students here who will be able to compete with the finest in the land. It’s been inspiring to be here and know that Hawaii is in good hands.”  

“The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is very proud to represent the Army in this partnership with Sen. Inouye’s office, the local community and our business partners, (and with) Native Hawaiian Veterans and Hawaii 3R’s, to help educate the children about the dangers of unexploded ordnance, and what to do when they find it,” said Maj. John Henderson, USACE, acting district commander.

“We visited these two schools to get a firsthand look at how this project is being implemented and to ensure that the federal dollars authorized are being used as intended,” Henderson said. 

“It was absolutely great to see how these valuable teaching tools have been integrated into the classrooms, the progress our kids are making in the awareness of UXO, and the very positive impact this project is having in the local community to help keep our children safe,” Henderson said.

In Fiscal Year 2009, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii received $850,000 to implement a UXO Safety Awareness Program for 11 Leeward Oahu schools and two Big Island schools. 

To support the garrison, the USACE, Honolulu District, provided safety awareness to educate children who could be exposed to UXO by contracting Native Hawaiian Veterans to launch the public safety and outreach program. 

The UXO safety awareness training computer program is for students from kindergarten to 12th grade, and has put 370 new laptop computers into DoE and charter schools between September 2009-February 2010.

Interactive UXO safety awareness materials installed on laptop computers provide short UXO safety questions and answers as part of the computer log in process.

Schools that received donations include Makaha Elem., Waianae High, Waianae Intermediate, Waianae Elem., Leihoku Elem., Maili Elem., Nanaikapono Elem., Nanakuli High and Intermediate, Nanakuli Elem., Kamaile Charter, Ka Waihona O Ka Naauao Charter School, Keaukaha Elem. and Waikoloa Elem.

Category: Community, Community Relations

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