Hawai‘i Island charter school among winners in state video contest about forest birds

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Students from a Big Island charter school received top rankings for their video project about forest birds as part of a statewide ʻŌlelo Youth Xchange Video Challenge.

Sponsored by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), 24 student groups submitted videos for the forest bird category, called “Makahiki o Nā Manu Nahele: Year of the Forest Birds,” as part of the contest run by ʻŌlelo Community Media.

Handmade bird puppets, lab scientist costumes, moʻolelo, and animated infographics are just some of the tools that K-12 students across Hawaiʻi used to create their video projects. Click here to see all the videos.

Judges narrowed entries down to nine finalists, including three from elementary schools, three from middle schools and three from high schools. On Tuesday, those students gathered with finalists from 13 other categories for ʻŌlelo’s award show at Hilton Hawaiian Village on O‘ahu.


“Seeing students share their voices to talk about the importance of native birds in Hawaiʻi is so inspiring,” said Dr. Josh Atwood, Information and Education Specialist for DOFAW. “They did a lot of research to produce these videos. You get the sense from these videos that even if they haven’t seen these birds in person, the students take pride in them as part of what makes these islands special.”

The top-ranked videos were submitted by O‘ahu schools Pearl City Highlands Elementary School, Kaimukī Middle School, and Big Island charter school ‘Alo Kēhau o ka ʻĀina Mauna High School.

At Tuesday’s award ceremony, student video creators were invited on stage to receive trophies.


“Participating in the contest was a way to further Hawaiian language and learn more about the birds of Hawaiʻi,” said Kaniele Tubon, from ‘Alo Kēhau o ka ʻĀina Mauna. “Because they were one of the first inhabitants to live here, even before humans, it’s important to be able to protect them and help them live on,” she said.

Atwood said he loves that people visiting the DLNR website can now learn about these birds directly from Hawaiʻi’s students.

“They are the future of conservation in Hawaiʻi – keiki who will grow up to inherit the results of our actions today,” Atwood said. “Who better to tell us what’s important to protect?”


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