The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) donated four musical instruments to Stevenson Middle School, which serves a large Native Hawaiian community, to replace those that were stolen last week.
"We are so blessed to have community partners like OHA who took the initiative to reach out to our school after the incident," said Principal Linell Dilwith. "Music is such an important part of our students' education experience, and having these instruments replaced will allow us to continue to incorporate it. These students won't miss a beat because of OHA's generosity."
OHA Chair Colette Y. Machado, OHA Vice Chair Dan Ahuna and Chief Executive Officer, Ka Pouhana Kamanaʻopono Crabbe visited the campus today and presented two ʻukulele, a flute, a piccolo, carrying cases and strings to school officials.
“I was heartbroken when I heard about the burglary at Stevenson,” said OHA Chair Machado. “This is our ‘ohana and these are our keiki. When someone steals from your ‘ohana, the ‘ohana comes together to kōkua to make it pono. That’s what we are doing here today: making things pono for the keiki.”
Enrollment numbers at Stevenson Middle for SY15-16 show that Native Hawaiians represent the largest single ethnic group at the school, which is located next to the Papakōlea Hawaiian homestead community.
“Music is a puʻuhonua (sanctuary) for many of our keiki; it is what brings and keeps them in school,” said Crabbe. “Given that many of the students at Stevenson are our beneficiaries, our hope is that by replacing these instruments we can help preserve this puʻuhonua for our keiki.”
“OHA also expresses our mahalo to Easy Music Center and Music Center of Hawaiʻi for providing discounts for the instruments and supplies,” added Chair Machado.