What better way to spend Spring Break than taking in the sights of Kauai while also making an impact on garden education and food sovereignty! As an alternative to Spring Break, 10 hardworking and inspired Virginia Tech students spent their week designing and building a beautiful shed for the school garden at Kawaikini NCPCS – a progressive Hawaiian immersion charter school.
Kawaikini is one of two Hawaiian immersion schools that form the Malaai Kula Farm-to-School pilot program on Kauai. This program spearheaded by local nonprofit, Malama Kauai, aims to serve nutritious and culturally-relevant school meals, while incorporating nutrition and agriculture into education. Each of the schools participating in the pilot is building up their school garden for keiki to learn in, and form healthy connections with food and the land. However, the up-front costs and labor to install a garden can be a lot for already hardworking teachers and parents. That’s where Virginia Tech students came in – all with academic goals in architecture, they saw a shed to be a worthy and necessary addition to Kawaikini’s garden, and set out to build one.
These architecture students took shed building to the next level – producing an artistic design that is not only durable, but also beautiful. They spent 6 days, contributing 360 volunteer hours to Malaai Kula. They also enjoyed a fun time hanging out with local students and connecting with the school community. With logistical support from Volunteer Kauai and Peaceworks, Virginia Tech students didn’t have to worry about details such as accommodations or food. Building Kawaikini’s shed was a great project that took students’ entire Spring Break, but it was well worth the hard work. Kawaikini has an awesome tool shed and the students had an amazing time.
If you’d like to plan a volunteer vacation like these students did, check out our Group Volunteering page, or contact us directly!