(BIVN) – On Wednesday, local music icons like the Makaha Sons and Pure Heart performed at historic Hawaii Theatre in downtown Honolulu, in support of Hawaiʻi educators.
The non-profit Hawaii Foundation for Educators says it raised more than $40,000, “thanks to the generosity of sponsors, donations, and ticket sales”, for the second annual “Teach Our Future” benefit concert.
From the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association:
The Hawaii Foundation for Educators provides teachers with quality training in professional and leadership development. Courses are developed by educators for educators.
Nimitz Elementary teacher Logan Okita said, “It’s really important to support teachers through professional development opportunities like the Hawaii Foundation for Educators provides because it shows teachers that they’re supported and ultimately it benefits the students that we serve in our classrooms.”
HFE funding allows the Hawaii State Teachers Association to return deposits for completed courses back to teachers. Educators have found this immensely helpful as they advance their careers.
Okita explained, “Professional development can be really expensive for educators, and so to have that funding available to reimburse teachers once they’ve completed the program is an amazing resource, and it’s a great benefit for teachers so that they know that once it’s completed, they’ll have that money back in their pockets.”
The evening was emceed by Billy V and featured performances by family band Eddie and the Coconuts, led by Eddie Somera, a Hawaii State Department of Education behavioral technician, and student musicians with the Hawaii Saxophone Foundation, including the Hawaii High School Saxophone Ensemble.
HFE board member Harris Nakamoto says student participation was an important part of the show, especially since many teachers were sitting in the audience. “For (the students) to perform in front of the teachers, many of them from the various schools that are here tonight, it really shows their honor and respect for them, but also their ability to give back within the community, and playing in the Hawaii Theatre is just awesome for these kids,” Nakamoto said.
A special mahalo to our platinum sponsor Air Service Hawaii; silver sponsors Hawaii Benefits Administrators, Inc., UHA Health Insurance, and Honolulu Star-Advertiser; bronze sponsors HMSA, Kaiser Permanente, Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, Pūlama Lānaʻi, Pacific Guardian Life, Hawaii Dental Service, Hawaii Carpenters Union, Dr. Kevin Kurohara, and Vicky Cayetano and Ginny Tiu; and donors Alexander & Baldwin, Fisher Hawaii, Southwest Airlines, First Hawaiian Bank, and the Hawaii State Teachers Association.