'AINA In Schools is a farm to school initiative that connects children to their local land, waters, and food to grow a healthier Hawai'i! Keolu is an 'AINA school! Students from Pre K - 6th grade receive gardening or nutrition lessons once a month. Children learn how to grow a garden, what plants work together, and how to eat the food they grow! Students are provided with a healthy, easy to make snack based off their lessons, and are also able to take home recipes to use on their own.
The harvest from 1st grade's "Good Buddy" garden
Replenishing Our Hawaiian Plants
The 4th Grade 'AINA in Schools Curriculum focuses on Hawaiian culture and connecting our Keiki to the place they live and grow. Our 4th graders have started a Hawaiian garden, first with Kalo and Uala, second with taking care of our 4 year old Ulu tree, and third, adding Hawaiian plants around campus.
4th grade added four plants to our Hawaiian Garden:
'Ohai: an endangered species mostly found in sandy beaches and lava fields. 'Ohai flowers are used to make lei and produce a sweet nectar.
'Akia: The roots, bark and leaf of the 'Akia can be mashed and mixed with fish bait, to stun any fish that eats it.
'Uki'uki: The 'Uki'uki produces beautiful blue-purple fruits that can be used as a natural dye for kapa and other cloths. The braids can also be braided to make cordage and were traditionally used to thatch houses.
Pōhinahina: The Pōhinahina produces blue violet, bell shaped flowers that bloom year round. The leaves and flowers are used to make lei. Pōhinahina was used to relive illnesses such as well and nalulu.
Plastic Free Hawaii Mural Contest
"We are 'Calling all Keolu Honu to Malama I ke Kai.' Last year, in 2nd grade, students collected utensils from two days in the cafeteria. When they recorded the data, they saw a need to raise more awareness on all the plastics in our oceans. They see the impact one small school has on either creating or eliminating single use plastic. They, as a class, are challenging the school to care for the oceans by reducing plastic use. " - Cris Wagner, Lead 'AINA Docent and Parent at Keolu
3rd grade students created a mural using utensils collected their 2nd grade year and micro-plastics that were found at a beach clean-up. Students volunteered their free time to sort the microplastics and design their mural.
Fall Garden Party 2019
Every semester we like to hold a Garden Party to bring the school and community together. Collaboratively, everyone involved helps prep and get the garden beds ready for the next round of 'AINA Lessons. This year, we weeded, added soil to the beds, added a bed for the Cafeteria to grow their own produce, and all staff members planted their own kalo!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for... POI SMOOTHIES! Part of the 'AINA in Schools program is to teach students about the healthy decisions they can make about the food that they eat. The nutrition program helps them learn more about the different types of food and what it can do for your body.
Students also learn about Gardening and Composting to help their lessons come full circle. Students are able to learn about and grow their own food, and in turn, learn what that food does for their body. Lets help our keiki explore their world!
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle
3rd grade got an amazing opportunity to learn about the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, an invasive species in Hawaii. They got to learn about ways to identify Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles, their larva, the evidence in a tree that shows a beetle has been there, and the traps that are set all around the island. Thank you so much to lead parent docent Cris Wagner for setting all of this up for our Keiki!