Council members give preschoolers citizenship lesson

KAPAIA — And the mayor of Kaua‘i is? Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho could not help but laugh as the 4-year-old students from the Lihu‘e Hongwanji Nursery unanimously responded, “You.”

Councilwoman Iseri-Carvalho and councilman Mel Rapozo were visiting the preschool as part of the children’s “Six Pillars of Character” learning unit.

Covering human character traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship, the two council members were on hand to enhance the unit on citizenship.

Although the students eagerly awaited the feature acts of the council members, each prefaced their presentation with short talks about their work.

“I work at the County Council,” Iseri-Carvalho told the enthusiastic group.

That enthusiasm spilled over while she read books penned by local author Dr. Terry Carolan covering areas of the alphabet, colors and animal identification.

Rapozo, working with another group on the other side of the classroom in Kapa‘ia also tuned into his audience by doing several magic tricks before jumping into his story.

Doris Viloria, one of the teachers at the preschool said they received the learning unit from one of the parents.

As part of the learning unit on citizenship, director Sandie Fujimoto said the preschool started a penny drive to benefit a Big Island family whose home was destroyed by a fire after the recent earthquake.

“You mean, I only have to give pennies?” Rapozo wanted to know.

Similarly, the children had the same question, some wanting to put dollars, quarters and other change in the collection jar.

Fujimoto said the collection will be turned over to benefit the Leslie Onodera family who belongs to the hongwanji church on the Big Island.

Their home was not damaged directly from the earthquake, but from a fire that resulted because of the quake. Their home was destroyed by the fire.

“You’re all such bright children,” Iseri-Carvalho said, impressed with the speed they picked up on the Hawaiian names for colors.

Following their presentations, each council member rotated between the groups.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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