KALIHI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Students and teachers at Kalihi Kai Elementary celebrated a successful school year Friday evening, with art making the difference.
Students showcased their talents on-stage dancing, singing and playing the ukulele. In the school's cafeteria, artwork displayed self-portraits the students made throughout the year. A mural of Kalihi Valley was also featured.
It highlights the school's first successful year as Turnaround Arts participant. The national program utilizes art education to help transform low-performing public schools.
Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro performed to show his support.
"Music and art inspires kids to learn," Shimabukuro said. "It gets their minds ready to absorb the information to inspire them and learn and come to school."
"In one year, we have seen classrooms turn into creative active learning spaces," said Rae Takemoto, program director of Turnaround Arts Hawaii. "We're energizing the school from the inside and building support with the community on the outside."
Kalihi Kai, Waianae Elementary and Kamaile Academy joined 46 other schools nationwide in the Turnaround Arts program last year.