Tiny Kalihi school gets million dollar gift - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tiny Kalihi school gets million dollar gift

Ray Tam Ray Tam
Sister Laurencia Camayudo Sister Laurencia Camayudo
Sydney Ttsukenjo Sydney Ttsukenjo

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The applause at St. John the Baptist Catholic School was for the presenting of a pledge.

"It's fantastic. We're really happy about it," said Ray Tam of the Clarence TC Ching Foundation.

The foundation gave the Kalihi school a $1.5 million check to help build a new wing. It will expand the tiny campus by 5,000 square feet and realize a vision the principal has carried for years.

"I see students running in and out of the classroom and I see students excited and they have their passion to work," Sister Laurencia Camayudo said.

The two-story building will have a covered parking lot, a science laboratory, and a computer room. Students now cram into a room with work stations that often don't work.

"The units there were all donated. They were all discarded from other schools," Sister Laurencia said.

"We try to click on something and it doesn't work and it wastes our class time," eighth-grader Titus Lafradez said.

St. John the Baptist Catholic School is one of the smaller private schools in the state. The building has been a need for years but until now budgeting money for it was a David and Goliath challenge.

"It just happens that the brother of Clarence Ching, Herbert Ching, is a member of the parish and so am I," Tam said.

Tam is Ching's nephew. He signed the paperwork that made it official. The wing will be called the Clarence TC Ching Foundation Science and Computer building.

"Our whole school thanks him for what he's done," student Sydney Ttsukenjo said.

It's a million reasons for an early thanksgiving.

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