Three $5,000 Awards from the Cooke Foundation are Currently Available to Hawai‘i Public Schools with Completed Beautification Projects

Media Release:

The Cooke Foundation will present three $5,000 awards, to one elementary school, one middle school and one high school, who have completed projects that beautify their school environment and significantly enhance the school’s overall appearance and ambiance. All public schools, including charter schools, in the state are eligible to apply.

“A beautiful environment at school is conducive to learning and encourages respect for one’s school, respect for others and respect for oneself,” said Lynne Johnson, Cooke Foundation trustee.

“I was inspired to witness the collaboration between students, faculty, staff and alumni as they transformed physical spaces into meaningful and beautiful works of art, through creative and innovative means,” said Gregory Wrenn, award coordinator for the Cooke Foundation.

Last year’s award recipient, Roosevelt High School, created a ceramic tile mural representing the school years from 1932 to the present. The project not only improved the school’s environment, but also promoted teamwork by bringing together 75 ceramic art students, alumni from the Class of 1960, teachers and staff.

The following criteria are required for all nominees:

  • The project should demonstrate significant improvement in the school’s appearance through better landscaping and/or improvement in the appearance of a school’s buildings, through such things as children’s artwork, murals, and gardens;
  • The school’s students, parents and faculty should have had an active role in the beautification project; and
  • All projects should show a clear maintenance plan for the ongoing beautification of the school, which must involve continued participation by the school community and/or outside organizations.

This is the fourth year the Cooke Foundation is awarding qualified schools with a beautification award. Previous Beautification Award recipients include Mokulele Elementary School, Washington Intermediate School, and Roosevelt High School on O`ahu (2010); Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School on O`ahu, Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School on Hawai`i Island, and West Hawai`i Explorations Academy also on Hawai`i Island (2009); and S.W. King Intermediate School on O’ahu, Lahainaluna High School on Maui, and Innovations Public Charter School on Hawai’i Island (2008).

“We are very fortunate to have been the recipient of the Cooke Foundation Beautification Award but more importantly, it has fostered a school community spirit in continuing to create a beautiful art-based learning environment for our students,” said Ann A. Mahi, President Theodore Roosevelt High School principal. “We are excited as we plan our next project with our teachers, students and alumni and community members and thank the Cooke Foundation for this wonderful opportunity.”

Nomination forms can be obtained through the Cooke Foundation website at www.cookefdn.org. Nominations must be submitted to the Cooke Foundation, c/o the Hawai‘i Community Foundation by September 1, 2011.

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