- MCB Hawaii/ MCAS Kaneohe Bay
Mokapu Elementary Celebrates May Day
Story by Sgt Zachary Orr on 05/31/2018
From the roads on Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), families and friends could be seen gathering at the playground of Mokapu Elementary School.
On May 25, 2018, students partook in a local Hawaiian tradition filled with flowers, dances and songs: May Day.
"The tradition of May Day was to celebrate Lei making in Hawaii," said Debra Saggers, the school's music teacher. "It started in the 1920's, and as the years progressed, it became an opportunity to celebrate Hawaiian culture through song and dance."
May Day is celebrated on May 1st but due to testing, the school pushed the celebration to the 25th.
"It takes a lot of time to plan, practice and prepare the students without interfering with testing," said Saggers. "Beginning January, I started teaching the students their dances."
Tricia Adams, the school's vice principal, says this is the sixth year they've done the event, teaching the kids about Hawaiian traditions.
"They love it," said Adams. "They love learning the hula, listening to the music and the showcase. They just glow, especially after showing their parents what they learned about being in the great state of Hawaii."
Adams says that the school tries different things to immerse the students in the culture of Hawaii.
"We reached out to 3rd Marine Regiment and Marine Corps Community Services to get bleachers, tents and chairs," said Principal Paloma Almanza. This event could never happen without the help from the base and our regiment partners."
Almanza says she hopes each year to draw more families and base community people to the program.
"I want them to see our talented students," Almanza said. "They also will be able to come enjoy Hawaii and its culture."