Working around the break

WAILUA — No one knew the main waterline would break Friday at the Lydgate Park.

“The county has a crew working on repairing the broken main right now,” said Keith Kitamura, instructor and adviser for the Kapaa High School peer mediation class. “What timing for the water line to break; it’s Friday, and the start of the weekend.”

The broken waterline interrupted a service project at the main pavilion where 15 students in the peer mediation class teamed with about 50 fourth- and fifth-grade students from Kapaa Elementary School to paint the numerous picnic tables that occupy the main pavilion.

“We got the majority of the tables base painted with green paint provided by the county,” Kitamura said. “While we’re waiting on the tables to dry and the waterline to be repaired, the kids adjusted the schedule and are having lunch before going out for various activities like teamwork, trust, and team building.”

Nevaeh Arruda-Kapu, a peer mediation student, said the service project was a year-end celebration.

“We taught two, three classes with these students,” Arruda-Kapu said. “This is kind of like a class celebration. We had to break, but it’s alright because we have other activities we can enjoy with the elementary school students. We can even teach them how to decorate the tables.”

Kitamura said the peer mediation students teach a class each quarter at Kapaa Elementary School. The final quarter is set aside to celebrate the end of the year.

“This celebration kind of evolved to become a service project,” he said. “It’s good to be able to give back to the community, especially with the people you’ve worked with for the year. The activities are all student-led. They figure out the activities, arrange for the prizes, and it’s pretty cool to watch them.”

Noreen Muramaru and Johnson Koo are the teacher-chaperones from the Kapaa Elementary School, noting the value of connection between the younger students and the older high school students.

“We had fun,” said Sabryn Dato, a fifth-grade student. “We talked about cyber-bullying and how people can bully you online.”

Another student, Jada Nakamura, added they learned how not to bully.

Kitamura said in addition to the base painting, the students will add decorations to an ocean theme.

“We got the base coat green from the county,” Kitamura said. “The other paints for the decorations came from The Home Depot who contributed what they could. The Home Depot has been such a big supporter for our peer mediation projects. We just couldn’t do what we do without their help and support. We also purchased some of the supplies through funds we made through our fundraising projects.”

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