Archives - September 2019

KCS Celebrates Lynn Yokomizo's 45 Years of Service

September 16, 2019
By KCS Staff

“A terrific teacher with an endless amount of energy.” This statement below Lynn Yokomizo's 1982 yearbook photo has epitomized her four and half decades of service at Kaimuki Christian School. Persuaded by founding principal Helen McKenzie to join her staff in 1974, Ms. Yokomizo's career has encompassed 45 out of the 51 years of the school's history, as she has taught 5th grade (1 year), 6th grade (7 years), 2nd grade (11 years), and kindergarten (26 years).

On Saturday, September 6, a gathering of family, colleagues, former students and junior leaders, and friends honored her legacy and lasting impact at KCS. Given the nickname "the original energizer bunny" by former principal Mark Gallagher, Ms. Yokomizo consistently demonstrated her dedication to students and the school by implementing new programs. She is credited with starting the summer program, summer junior leader program, outer island trip to the Big Island, camps, and Student Council.

She initiated and directed After School Care and Intersession Care as well as helped to start the annual Kyle-Lenn-Joey Scholarship Walkathon. These programs are part of the success of KCS today, a reflection of Ms. Yokomizo's drive and determination to create these experiences for her students, often starting with little or no resources or personnel.  Former students and junior leaders express gratitude for Ms. Yokomizo's guidance and mentorship, which helped to shape their lives as young adults. Kellie (Kakugawa) Saiki recalls how she eagerly awaited for Ms. Yokomizo's 6th grade class; she emerged grateful for the values and love of learning that was instilled in her. Ms. Yokomizo also masterfully balanced hard work with fun, as her junior leaders and colleagues speak of the memorable outings, trips, and activities she led.

Ms. Yokomizo begins a new season in her life, continuing to care for others with the same faithful energy that she served KCS. She is often approached by former students who share about their lives and reminisce about the special times at KCS. She calls these moments "gems," a testament to the impact of the KCS experience that has continued through the years.

Students enjoy new play structure on Blue Island

September 06, 2019
By KCS Staff

With wide eyes of wonder and delight, children in Mrs. Vera's P3 class were the first to enjoy the brand new play structure on the first day of school. The colorful new equipment, installed by Inspired Play, now sits as the centerpiece of the Blue Island playground.

While plans for the new structure have been in the works for over a year, the story of the KCS playground dates back to 2000 and is uniquely connected to the Arnold family. As an architecture student at UH Mānoa, Pastor Ron's son, Rocky (a KCS alum), proposed a new play structure to replace an unsafe sailboat that once occupied the playground. After surveying students and proposing his idea to former principal Mark Gallagher, Rocky implemented his "Dorsal Play" structure, from conceptual drawing to fabrication of the steel tubing and the actual construction of equipment. When the playground was dedicated in 2001, Rocky had already relocated to the mainland.

For nearly two decades, the Dorsal Play structure was lovingly used and enjoyed by school and church children, but through the years, some of its supporting elements had deteriorated. During the 2018-19 school year, KCS began the search for new playground options. At the same time, Rocky and his family had returned to Hawaii and his sons were now enrolled as KCS students. As the school explored various play equipment and met with several vendors, Rocky utilized his expertise as an architect to help steer the direction of the project. When asked about replacing his Dorsal Play design, Rocky said, "I believe our greatest need is to provide a quality play structure that will match the high quality of the school."

Thanks to Rocky and Property Manager John Perez, preschool and elementary students have loved exploring the different features of the new structure. With two slides and a climbing wall, the structure provides new play opportunities on Blue Island. KCS is also grateful for the generous funding support from the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation, Atherton Foundation, and Cooke Foundation, Limited. In the coming months, watch for one more upgrade to Grassy Island!

KCS launches two-year-old program!

September 03, 2019
By KCS Staff

The opening of two P2 classrooms this school year has marked another milestone in the school's rich history. Since KCS's announcement of accepting two-year-olds last November, the response has been overwhelming, leading to an enrollment of 24 students, with room to grow!

On the first day of the 2019-20 school year, these adorable students arrived in 2T uniforms and big kid backpacks, ready to learn, explore, and play with their peers. As an extension of the current preschool program, the two-year-old curriculum also includes music and Chinese classes and Friday morning chapels. One of the unique aspects of the program is the flexibility to select full-time or part-time options.

For two-year-olds, teachers Mrs. Mei and Ms. Gene have emphasized the importance of extended time in both indoor and outdoor play, giving children the opportunity to not only learn how to play but to build friendships as well. Potty training, as well as learning good hygiene skills, are incorporated into the daily routine and schedule. Children also begin to build their various skills through sensory activities, singing, music and movement, and art. With each simple song or new discovery, these students exude the fun and joy that comes with learning.

At the heart of the P2 program is showing children at a young age that they are loved by God and that school is a fun, loving, and energetic environment for young minds to grow!

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