Insurance Partnership Results In Cooler Classrooms For Aikahi

The Wind Riders of Aikahi Elementary School will be riding a stronger breeze soon, thanks to a donation of 25 standing fans from Farmers Insurance Hawaii in early November.

The local company has distributed 200 fans to eight Oahu schools since October, all because of one freshman from Campbell High School.

As an English assignment, he and his classmates wrote to various local businesses, asking for financial support to cool down their hot classrooms, as stifling temperatures make it difficult for them to concentrate.

Farmers Insurance was moved by his request and decided to offer a little help to the eight schools — Aikahi, Ewa Beach, Kaimiloa, Nimitz, Mokulele and Pearl Harbor-Kai elementary schools; Ilima Intermediate and Campbell High — identified on the DOE’s AC Priority list.

Aikahi Elementary principal Lynn Kobayashi said that she didn’t expect the gift, but she is grateful that her school was remembered. “It does get really hot here,” she said. “The weather has been really, really humid and hot.”

But she noted that the community has always been generous to Aikahi. “We already have ceiling fans in our classrooms — we’re very fortunate because we have very generous parents; we have the PTA, which really works hard to raise funds for us. But, of course, it gets really, really warm despite the fans, so it was really a nice gesture and very thoughtful of (Farmers) to think about us.”

But Farmers’ donation has benefits beyond cooler classrooms.

Judy Nagasako of the DOE’s Corporate and Community Partnerships Office was present when Farmers gave Campbell High School its fans.

“I recall that (the students doing the assignment) weren’t really hopeful that people would listen to them or that it would make a difference, but they were really surprised that their saying something about it … people actually listened. They can make a difference.

“It’s not just a matter of being a victim or just a student. … They do have a powerful voice,” Nagasako said.