Freshmen learn while helping

KAPAA — The 285 students at Kapaa High School kicked off winter break by celebrating the success of volunteering.

A new program at the school lets all of the school’s ninth-grade students select a community partner at which they will volunteer.

Ross Kagawa, a Kapaa High School instructor and Kauai County councilmember, said more than 90 percent of the class participated in the inaugural program, providing more than 1,200 service hours to the community partners, including Malama Huleiia, the Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital and the Kauai Humane Society.

Kapaa High School teachers Nicole McKamy, Wailana Cantere and Elizabeth Steiner got the program off the ground.

Freshmen are part of the Kapaa High School Ninth Grade Smaller Learning Communities, or hui, which are designed to provide them with a smooth transition into their first pivotal year in high school, said Calvin Paleka, a Kapaa High School instructor.

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