Every year at Hawaii Baptist Academy, the sophomore class commemorates its own Earth Day in November by giving history presentations and working at lo‘i patches (taro patches.)

Leading up to Earth Day, the sophomores spent a majority of the second quarter working on skit presentations about the history of America in the wild west. Sophomore Timothy Chang said, “I had to present my history skit of women in the west and it was fun because I got to act in front of everyone and show the fruition [of my] Intro to Theater class.” Students were also required to contribute to a Western themed potluck, which they enjoyed between presentations. History teacher Lynn Nakano, who was in charge of organizing Earth Day, said, “I thought the quality [of the presentations] was very good! I’m very proud of the class of 2018. The creativity as well as the balance of scripting from research and content was good.”

According to Nakano, Earth Day was started to add an environmental focus to the U.S. History curriculum. “I feel like at least one unit should help us care about the environment,” she said, “and [students] use that afternoon activity as a chance to at least test out whether [they] might be interested in working with [their] hands and doing something physical toward taking care of the environment.”

After the history presentations, the sophomores headed to the Papahana Kuaola lo‘i patches in He’eia, where they had a chance to mingle and have lunch before going down to the stream to work. Volunteers split the classes up and sent them to work in different areas where they pulled weeds and performed other tasks. Sophomore Kylee Tawara said, “It was very fun to give back to the ‘aina.

The volunteer staff also shared about Hawaiian culture with the students. Chang said, “The field trip was a great learning experience because we got to learn about how fishes are born and raised in little ponds, and how the little fish hide from the bigger fish in the rock crevices.”

Nakano said, “I hope that we might see a little more of the biblical role of God saying that he is putting us as stewards over creation, [and] that we are to take care of and use well [its] resources. So I do hope we make [the] connection [that] it is our job, and we need to care.”

Photographs courtesy of Robert Lockridge.