2015 - 2016 Pono Campaign Winners

The 9th Annual E Ola Pono Campaign was held during the 1st semester of school, from August till the end of February, 2016. This annual statewide initiative encourages youth groups to promote peace, pono and respect at their schools and communities through student–led campaigns.

Six schools in three divisions will be receiving recognition and monetary awards for their winning student-led campaigns.  First place winners will be awarded $1000 and second place will receive $500 for their campaign efforts.

Elementary Division:

1st Place: Blanche Pope Elementary - Mālama 'Aina Project (5th & 6th graders)  

Blanche Pope Elementary School entered projects from both 5th & 6th grades to show the impact made in their school as well as their community of Waimanalo. The 5th graders worked hard in their school garden, Ka Mala Lani, learning how to successfully grow food that flourishes in the ahupua‘a of Waimanalo. The 6th graders broadened their scope of mālama ‘aina by getting permission from DLNR to adopt an area at Waimanalo Beach to get rid of invasive plants and rubbish that is killing native Hawaiian plants. 

“Every student has leadership potential because leadership is influence. Through Ka Mala Lani, the garden grows and influences and leadership principles the power of an image, a conversation or an experience.” –Eda Kaneakua, Garden & Cultural Educator

“To most, mālama ‘aina just means cleaning and picking up trash. But for me, it means 30 minutes of going around taking out invasive plants and saving the native ones. I would do whatever it takes to mālama ‘aina, would you?” - Tyron Gr. 6

2nd Place:  Mililani Mauka Elementary - Peace Garden & Benches 

This school’s Garden Club, Buddy Bench Helpers, and the Peace Project students wanted to promote peace & pono through words and actions. The goal of these service clubs is similar, to help students feel a sense of peace and belonging, and to spread their kindness to others.

“When we see people helping or doing something positive, it makes you want to do the same.  One kind deed leads to another.” - Peace Committee student group reflection
“Students and teachers are excited about seeing the positive words painted on the benches and helping at the Peace Garden. We now have over 300 students signed up to help at the benches and at the garden.” -  Counselor Sharon Kakigi  

Mililani Mauka students painting positive words and images on the buddy benches 

Mililani Mauka students painting positive words and images on the buddy benches 

Middle/Intermediate Division:

1st Place:  Ewa Makai Middle - The Leadership E Ola Pono Campaign

 The Ewa Makai middle school leadership group was concerned about student behavior. Over the past few months, irresponsible behaviors were increasing. These negative behaviors were also being displayed in the community & nearby businesses.

“We want others to see how making intentional everyday decisions to use respect for oneself and others in an ethical and considerate manner whenever we interact, listen and work with others. This will ultimately lead to harmony and fostering a culture of mindful and thoughtful people.” –Leadership group student reflections

“Our campaign persuaded our entire student body, (940 students) to be respectful and considerate of others, and especially their community partners and family members. As a school and community, we will continue to embrace that there is no “I” in “team”. -  Student Activities Coordinator Vanessa Ching

2nd Place:  Kua o ka La Charter School - Aloha ‘Aina & Kapu Aloha Project

“We wanted to show that our projects within the community showcase peace and pono at its most highest.  To focus on our fishing projects, ‘aina based projects, and projects that talk about the body, mind and spirit.  Pono through fishing, pono through ‘aina and pono through our kino (body).  We wanted our community to learn that we can return to a way of balance, peace and prosperity. Our program has 8 students, however, our campaign impacts our entire school of 170 students, and 20 staff and it also impacted our community of Miloli‘i with over 300 people who live and call Miloli‘i home.”  Project teacher – Kaimi Kaupiko

High School Division:

1st Place: Farrington High -  Friends Program

“The Friends Program consists of 25 general education students and 15 Life Skills students. Every Wednesday, they meet during lunch to eat, play games and enjoy each other’s company. In a world where it is uncommon for the popular athletes to “hangout” with students with special needs, here at Farrington anything and everything is possible. As a program, we are making a statement that students with special needs are not INVISIBLE, but INCREDIBLE.” – Educational Assistant & AdvisorEvelyn Utai
“We want them to learn that they shouldn’t ignore someone because they are different! How boring would the world be if we were all the same! Embrace each other’s differences!” - Student group reflection 

2nd Place: Mililani HS - Everyday Heroes project 

“Every year Mililani High school girls volleyball fundraise and create awareness about breast cancer. Our efforts have included cupcake sales, donations collected at one of our games, and/or a servathon. This year our servathon theme was based on super heroes. Our girls dressed out on for this event and raised over $2,000. These super heroes have been our everyday heroes as they pledge to uphold such character traits as respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, citizenship, fairness, and caring. By doing so it is our hope to create "pono" in this world.” - Mililani girls volleyball coach – Val Crabbe   
“During the 2015 volleyball season we learned to become everyday heroes. Throughout the season we practiced each of the 6 pillars of character which were respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, trustworthiness, and citizenship.” - Mililani High School Volleyball girls reflection