"Aunty Edwina" Lends Her Skills to Help Young Students

"Aunty" Edwina Nishimoto
"Aunty" Edwina Nishimoto

(KHNL) - The state Board of Education recently announced plans to merge some of its smaller schools, in an effort to save money.

As the public school system tightens its financial belt, once again, much-needed volunteers continue help tutor hawaii's children during this time of transition.

Tonight, we introduce you to one woman who gives of her time to young students, every day, as her "Random Act of Kindness."

She is known to her students simply as Aunty Edwina.

Edwina Nishimoto, volunteers at Kanoelani Elementary School in Waipio, helping kindergarteners and first graders.

She's here virtually every day, primarily focusing her efforts on teaching children how to read, and how to write.

''I found that it just energized me,'' says Nishimoto. "It gave me something to look forward to every morning. It did!"

''She does not have any relatives or children in our classes. She does this out of the kindness of her heart and this is why we nominated her," says Kanoelani kindergarten teacher, Kathleen Mijo.

The help is greatly needed, and appreciated.

There is constant pressure placed on the public school system to meet elusive standards.

Nishimoto says, it's really just getting back to basics.

''Kids don't do their work. Not, like we had to," says Nishimoto. "They watch too much television. They play too many games. Maybe the parents are too busy, I don't know. But, nobody is giving them the time."

But now, Nishimoto gives that time and the retiree is doing it in a most meaningful way.

"I am really honored to have her in our classroom every day and it's really made a difference in their learning," says Mijo.

The kind of difference that will last a lifetime.