The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) donated four musical instruments to Stevenson Middle School following a theft earlier this month.
On Thursday, Feb. 4, between 8:30 and 10:15 p.m., someone broke into the school and took several items, including an eight-string ukulele, piccolo and a flute. Police released surveillance video, but have yet to make an arrest.
OHA chair Colette Machado, vice chair Dan Ahuna, and CEO Ka Pouhana Kamanaʻopono Crabbe visited the campus Thursday and presented two ukulele, a flute, a piccolo, carrying cases, and strings to school officials.
“I was heartbroken when I heard about the burglary at Stevenson,” said Machado. “This is our ‘ohana and these are our keiki. When someone steals from your ‘ohana, the ‘ohana comes together to kōkua to make it pono. That’s what we are doing here today: making things pono for the keiki.”
“This community, Stevenson, serves a bigger Native Hawaiian community, and it’s important that we replace these musical instruments,” Ahuna said.
According to the Department of Education enrollment numbers for SY15-16, Native Hawaiians represent the largest single ethnic group at Stevenson Middle School, which is located next to the Papakōlea Hawaiian homestead community.
The students presented thank you cards and performed a concert for the trustees.
“I feel so happy that someone actually cares,” said student Jasmine Tran. “It make us feel good that we learn instruments and learn how to read notes, and maybe later on, if we want to become musicians, we know how to play notes.”
Easy Music Center and Music Center of Hawaii provided OHA with discounts for the instruments and supplies.