Hale Kula gives back through community service

| December 19, 2014 | 0 Comments
Hale Kula Elementary School students learn the meaningsof community service. (photo courtesy of Hale Kula Elementary School)

Hale Kula Elementary School students learn the meaningsof community service. (photo courtesy of Hale Kula Elementary School)

Ronda Gillam and LuAnne Wilkendorf
Hale Kula Elementary School

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — What is community service?

Community service is individuals or groups volunteering their time or resources to help other members of the community.

This volunteering is not something you normally hear about as being part of the normal routine of an elementary school. However, at Hale Kula Elementary School, here, it happens frequently.

Taking action
Over the past 10 years, coaches Jerry Bevacqua, Ted Enoki, and the Student Council have used the annual Turkey Trot Run and the Jingle Bell Run to instill a sense of community service, personal responsibility for their community and an understanding of how students can help the community to each student at Hale Kula Elementary.

“When I first started teaching PE, community service and the teaching of empathy were an integral part of our PE Program,” said Bevacqua. “We collect donations, and we do a grade level run with music.”

Each run has a community service component and different focus. The Turkey Trot run is done in November and is a canned food drive for the local Hawaii Food Bank.

This year, the goal was to collect 1,000 cans of food, and Hale Kula students stepped up to help those in need. The run collected over 1,460 cans and boxes of food for presentation to the Food Bank.

“I like doing these projects because we get to help people who may not have much to celebrate during the holidays,” said Trinity Phillips, a 4th grade Student Council representative.

The Jingle Bell run focuses on collecting funds for various charities that range from the Red Cross to this year’s focus, The Wounded Warrior’s Project. This year’s goal was to raise $900, and students raised $948.

Students choose projects
The charities are chosen by fourth and fifth grade Student Council members as each year Student Council members brainstorm a list of charities that are near and dear to their hearts.

They discuss the reasons the members would like to donate to that charity. Finally, the group votes and chooses the charity that will receive the funds.

Dec. 12, students, teachers and families participated in the Jingle Bell Run, running, walking and dancing to holiday music.

Students at Hale Kula greatly value community service and helping those in need.

“I think that helping others, such as community service, is doing good for others,” said fifth grader, Taylor Quenga. “Some people say, that when you do something good, karma comes back to you.”

Hale Kula students will continue to participate in community service projects. Their annual American Heart Association “Jump Rope for Heart” and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Pennies for Patients” is in the spring.
(Note: Gillam and Wilkendorf are student council advisors at Hale Kula.)

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Category: Community, Education

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