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Lahainaluna students write books for keiki

By Staff | May 20, 2010

Thomas Foley (in back) and his students pose with their books outside of his classroom: (from left) Joshue Gutierrez, Charley Silk, Christelle Gutierrez, Raul Gachuz and John Jordan Simolata.

LAHAINA — Lahainaluna High School freshman students in the English Language Learners (ELL) Program recently wrote and illustrated books for children.

In an effort to address the lack of funding facing the state Department of Education, the students in teacher Thomas Foley’s class donated the books to Princess Nahienaena Elementary School last week Thursday.

The hard-bound books were published by the ELL Department at Lahainaluna. Topics of the books vary, but all of them teach valuable lessons to children.

Charley Silk’s book, “Tom the First Bird Man,” teaches children to stand up to bullies.

“The Monster and the Child” by Joshue Gutierrez depicts the fears of a child’s imaginary monster leading to the reunification of a divorced family.

“Willie da Wowowee” by John Marc Anthony Matias is a fun story about a karaoke-singing boy from the Philippines who brings joy and happiness to everyone around him.

Other titles include “Tommy and Jerry” by Christelle Gutierrez, “Banana and the Storm” by Raul Gachuz, “Jordan, the Boy Who Loves to Play Basketball” by John Jordan Simolata, and “Joseph the Smiley Face” by Wendell Gutierrez.

“These students worked very hard on creating books that children would enjoy, and it helped them to achieve clarity in their writing,” Foley said.

“With a program like this, everyone’s a winner. I can hardly wait to continue this project next academic year.”

In related news, five Lahainaluna students were honored at the first island-wide Graphic Showcase and performance-based competition organized by Maui High School video and graphics teachers Clint Gima and Leilani Greene.

The award ceremony — held at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center on April 29 — was combined with the Maui Student Film Festival organized by Mark Hymas, DOE district video resource teacher.

Maui High School has a very strong video and graphics program, but Lahainaluna made a great showing with finalists in all categories entered.

Stephen Adolfson took first place in the Website/Brochure category, Mark Nelson placed first in the Beginning Business Card/Letterhead category, Jarron Ramos took second place in the Advanced Poster category (followed by Everette De Los Reyes in third in the same category), and Jessica Scott’s poster placed third in the Beginning Poster category.

Their work and that of more than 20 other Lahainaluna students will be on display with entries from the other Maui high schools at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center this week.

Closer to home will be an exhibit of students’ digital graphic work at Barnes and Noble at Lahaina Gateway, which will run until May 21.

"This show is a fund-raiser for Lahainaluna’s Digital Classroom, which is sorely in need of new computers. Barnes and Noble will donate a portion of sales of everything in the store except digital devices to everyone presenting a voucher when shopping. Vouchers will be distributed to all students and will be available  at the School Administration Office," noted Nancy Young, digital media teacher at LHS.

For vouchers and information, contact Young at 662-4000, extension 315.