Kahuku Students Fundraising For D.C. Trip

For 15 Kahuku High students, navigating the history and developing extensive knowledge on the U.S. Constitution have been a good fit.

After beating its competitors at the state “We the People” competition, the team will travel to Washington, D.C., April 27-29 for the nationals.

“It hones their reading, writing, research and speaking skills, along with teaching them teamwork,” said social studies teacher and team adviser Jan Harney.

The team has been taught as a class under Harney’s tutelage for four years. “It teaches many skills they will need for future endeavors,” Harney explained.

The competition requires students to recite a four-minute essay before answering a series of questions from judges for six minutes, with topics ranging from current events to the Constitution.

The Red Raiders have been preparing with a new set of questions for the nationals, and writing and re-writing essays.

Additional coaching comes in the form of many mentors who assist in the team’s growth, including state judges and William S. Richardson School of Law faculty members.

“Sandra Cashman sets up these sessions and comes into our classroom once a week to help,” Harney said. “She is the state coordinator and is excellent at what she does.”

The team soon will begin its classroom simulations, which are meant to mimic the same atmosphere as the national competition.

Though the team’s primary focus is on preparing as much as possible before the trip, it also is raising funds to help pay for the travel costs to Washington. The price tag per student is about $2,000, which includes everything.

In addition to grant-writing by students’ moms, the team will host a Zumba night from 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 7 in the gym (($7 presale at the school office, $10 at the door) and a silent auction from 8 a.m. to noon March 9 at Sunset Beach Elementary School.

Monetary donations also are accepted and can be sent to Kahuku High School, 56-490 Kamehameha Hwy., Kahuku, HI 96731. In the memo line, write “We the People.”

For more information, contact Harney at jan_harney@notes.k12.hi.us.