Winners named in school attendance video contest

Be PonoWinners of a video contest to discourage school truancy were announced yesterday. The “Be Pono – Be in School” video contest was organized by schools on the Windward side of Oahu. Judges awarded prizes valued at $10,000. More than 1,500 students – some in kindergarten – created and produced a total of 60 video entries.

Described as the state’s first district-wide attendance-campaign video contest, it launched last month and drew participation by one-third of all Windward District schools. Entrants submitted 30-second spots focused on the importance of coming to school on time and staying in school.

The three categories were group, individual and school. The winning videos are posted online here:


  1. 1st place: Third-grade Language Arts class, Aikahi Elementary; “Pono and Zono”; prizes – Whole Foods pizza party; Safeway gift cards; Glow Putt Mini Golf passes
  2. 2nd place: Lunch Video Club, King Intermediate; “Rewind”; Sunset Ranch group outing, Papa John’s Pizza, Safeway gift cards
  3. 3rd place: Lunch Video Club, King Intermediate; “Be”; Sunset Ranch group outing, Papa John’s Pizza, Safeway gift cards

Individual: (all Kalaheo High)

  1. 1st place: Katherine Graham; “Freedom”; prize – customized surfboard, Hawaii Meth Project / Made in Hawaii Enterprises
  2. 2nd place: Cloe Christensen; “Good Choice”; customized skateboard, Hawaii Meth Project / Made in Hawaii Enterprises
  3. 3rd place: Jason Goldstein; “Welcome to My Library”; $100 Apple Store gift card


  1. 1st place: Maunawili Elementary; “Be Pono Video”; prize – $1,000 cash
  2. 2nd place: Sunset Beach Elementary; “One School’s Opinion”; $500 cash
  3. 3rd place: Enchanted Lake Elementary; “Let’s be Pono”; $250 cash

Additionally, all video entries were placed in a random bonus-prizes drawing that included Soljah Surf Camp lessons; passes to Kualoa Ranch, Consolidated Theatres, Waikiki Aquarium, Polynesian Cultural Center and Bishop Museum; and Chuck E. Cheese’s party packs. All participants will receive certificates of participation.

Celebrity judges were Paula Akana and Yunji de Nies, KITV; Mary Ferguson, Army public affairs; Crystal Lee, Miss Hawaii; Moanikeala Nabarro, KITV; and Mahealani Richardson, Shriners Hospital public relations. Other judges included photography freelancer Bill Paris and communications freelancer Stacy Paris.

Sponsors include Matson Foundation, Hawaii Meth Project, HMSA, McDonald’s of Fort Street Mall, One Stop Windows & Doors, Bishop Museum, and Safeway and Times Supermarkets.

This contest marks Phase Two of “Be Pono – Be in School” – Hawaii’s only districtwide-focused attendance campaign – that kicked off last August. Four school complexes – Castle, Kahuku, Kailua and Kalaheo – comprise 31 schools and 15,686 students in the Windward District’s 45 miles from Waimanalo to Sunset Beach.

Seven social workers led by district educational specialist Paula Wong planned, organized, secured islandwide sponsors and judges, and designed and reproduced contest materials with less than $500.

“We’re thrilled at the positive response by our creative students,” Wong said. “The social workers are planning new ways to continue the attendance campaign next school year.”

Absences often start during the early years in school. Years of lost classroom time and lessons may lead to a failure to graduate, growing research shows.

Submitted by Jorene Barut, Communications Specialist, Windward District Office, Castle-Kahuku Complexes.

Hawaii Star Wire

Press releases, media advisories, and other announcements submitted to the Hawaii Star.

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