Page 8 - MidWeek Kauai - May 5, 2021
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        Giving In The Darkest Of Days
  test scores, high classroom temperatures, personality conflicts, myriad administration changes, et al. So let’s acknowledge some good programs in place right now. Kudos to those who tolerated teaching/learning from home; the time has hopefully come for in-person reunions, with precautions.
When I was 7 years old, my mother paid for the lunch of a stranger who later thanked her for this kind act. As I watched her pull out a $10 bill, I thought to myself, “I can’t wait to grow up so I can also make a differ- ence in someone’s life.” In these pandemic times, there have been wondrous moments that show how generous hu- manity can be.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned throughout these months of facing the unknown is that it is possible to make a difference in the lives of others with a bit of imagination, open arms and a heart full of goodness.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides undernourished residents here with additional funds to complement their own food purchases. A recent Honolu- lu Star-Advertiser editorial noted that SNAP enrollment is up 30% since the pandemic began, and is now serving about 200,000 residents. And depending on the number of qualified SNAP households in a given school district, area schools might be eligible to provide free meals to every student, which is great, since many borderline malnourished kids are part of low-income families that register just above SNAP’s maxi- mum financial earnings threshold. Thus, these kids also get free school food if their campuses qualify.
his arm rested a brand-new tablet.
the techy know-how of online ordering have been taking a really massive hit during the pandemic. She lent a hand by using her own online business platform to help them with orders and keep their busi- nesses doors open.
Hungry, tired and unmotivated students don’t provide an ideal canvas for maximizing learning opportunities. As the newspaper commentary stated, we now need more people en- couraging neighbors and friends to take advantage of this op- portunity to get free food into more schools that warrant it. The SNAP school program must be maximized for those in need.
Upon hearing that the son of their favorite waitress had to share an electronic tablet with his neighbor, an elderly couple left an unexpectedly generous tip. When they re- turned to the restaurant a few days later, they spotted her leaving with her son. Under
Residents on the route of a retiring mailman decorated their mailboxes with colors and ribbons to say thank you for his many years of braving gloomy skies and icy roads to deliver their mail on time. The neighborhood banded together in his retirement to host a lively block party, cele- brating this beloved hero.
So accustomed to spending all day cooped up in her emp- ty house, an elderly woman was surprised to hear the sound of cellos echoing from her front yard. She peered out her window to see two neighborhood children with cellos, playing the sweetest
Koren Kano is a Punahou student who is passionate about writing and community service. Her current service project is a club that aims to empower young females by providing them with outdoor stewardship experiences, such as beach cleanups and on-campus gardening.
Chasing The Light is pro- duced by Robin Stephens Rohr and Lynne Johnson.
And clap for the state Department of Education, which is taking advantage of federal pandemic funds earmarked for learning by providing free summer school “learning hubs” at 234 campuses statewide, and offering a three-week transition program for new kindergartners who stayed home due to the coronavirus. The DOE board voted to not charge anyone for summer school — a good (and timely) decision.
The owner of Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery in Ho- nolulu knew that mom-and- pop businesses that lacked
“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes Iin the goodness in people.”
There are so many ways to make a difference in someone else’s life, like leaving a generous tip or giving of your time.
  WSNAP And Clap
n these times of loss and loneliness, it is so easy to slip into feelings of
e often hear about our local public education system when there’s drama-involved micromanagement complaints, systemic issues, intransigence, low
despair. This is what I know for sure: We all have the ca- pacity to pass on courage to another and even change their life. Action generates hope, compassion and the healing warmth of human connection.
of classical music. She wept. Children have such capacity for immeasurable kindness.
  Finally, if your kids ever ask, “Why school?,” tell them they’ll develop life skills as they learn independence, interde- pendence and problem-solving skills, as well as live up to com- mitments, show up on time and work with all kinds of students. Tell them that it all inevitably adds up to having more choices. A fulfilling life often includes having myriad choices and op- tions. The more you know, glow and show, the more options you should have later in life. Educated, interested, querying, attentive, passionate young people may become tomorrow’s leaders, break through where others do not, and have more choices available to them in their post-school, real world. Feed, motivate and engage kids — and the sky’s the limit.
Think about it ...
with Koren Kano

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