Aloha goes around and it comes around.
Just ask Lahela Chandler Correa and Ann Hettinger, authors of “Aloha: What It Means to My ‘Ohana and Yours” that is being used in several Kauai school.
“It’s the most beautiful thing to see full circle of what had just transpired,” Hettinger said. “This is what it’s all about.”
The beauty is in how students on different islands are showing their aloha for each other, she said.
Last year, kindergartners at Holualoa Elementary School on the Big Island, who used the Aloha book, wanted to raise spirits on Kauai following the April flooding that devastated much of the North Shore. So, they made heart-shaped clay magnets with “Aloha” written on them and sent them to Hanalei School.
“I could just feel the love and caring of all of the students who made these beautiful aloha hearts,” Hettinger wrote. “They truly put aloha into action.”
The love is still going strong.
Hanalei students, teachers like Rebecca Stirling and community volunteers, along with Hettinger, and Chandler Correa, united earlier this to make some 200 Aloha Magnets for students at Kua O Ka La Public Charter School on the Big Island, which was destroyed by the lava from the Kilauea Volcano last year.
“This is bringing aloha full circle within our islands,” Hettinger said.
“Our student worked really hard at making this happen,” she said. “You learn, you teach, but when it finally start being applied in real life, that’s when it hits you.”
The project was the inspiration for the “Aloha is Hope” lesson in their newly released lower elementary book, “Aloha- What it Means to My ʻOhana”.
The goal, Hettinger said, is “Not only to read and learn about aloha and its meaning, but to practice aloha in your life every day. To perpetuate aloha and share it with everyone to make the world a better place.”
Hettinger recalled that when Hanalei students were making the aloha magnets, she asked them, why they were doing this? What was the point?
One girls recounted the need to help others, to be kind, and share aloha always. She recited what she learned in the Aloha book and in making the magnets.
“It was so beautiful,” Hettinger said.
She said it’s going on five years of their Aloha books that emphasize lessons of hope, love and respect through stories, pictures and puzzles. Thousands have been distributed in schools and Hettinger believes they are seeing a difference in those who use them.
“It is one thing to learn and access online but the books are created so that the students have something that is theirs, that they write in, draw in and personalize in,” she wrote. “It is their solid reminder of all the good things we can do.”
“We’re blessed to be a part of this whole thing,” she added.
The authors of “Aloha: What It Means to My ‘Ohana” will have a book-signing and fundraiser from 5:30 to 8:30 tonight at the Tahiti Nui luau room in Hanalei. Lahela Chandler Correa and Ann Hettinger are raising money to help put the book in all Kauai schools. Buy one book and one is donated to the school of your choice. There will be music, pupu, prizes and fun.