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Third Graders Learn About Protecting the Watersheds

West Hawaii Today - May 31, 2011

Healthy Hawaii Coalition recently presented its elementary school program, "The Hawaii Watershed Experience," in Kona.

A villain known only as "Oily Al" was caught committing the offenses of pouring oil from his car down the storm drain, throwing rubbish in the fishpond and several other crimes against the aina. Luckily, the students from Kealakehe Elementary School were there to witness the misdeeds and a heroine known as "WaterWoman" was able to correct Oily Al's mistakes.

The 130 third-graders were treated to a skit starring Oily Al and WaterWoman and their confrontations over pollution in their watershed. The keiki also participated in hands-on activities on a field trip to Kahaluu Beach Park. The students learned about water testing, erosion, nonpoint source pollution and cleaning up rubbish that could have ended up polluting the fishponds or ocean.

The coalition has presented this specialized curriculum, "The Hawaii Watershed Experience," to 5,000 students on Oahu, the Big Island, Maui, Molokai and Kauai public and private schools. The focus of the program is to teach students about watersheds, the Hawaiian concept of ahupuaa, preventing water pollution and encouraging land and water stewardship. State Sen. Mike Gabbard and his wife, Carol, were in Kona to bring the program to elementary school students.

The program can be requested at elementary schools by calling 778-4243.