Making an impact on Hawaii's communities
Sponsored by UH System and the Hawaii State Dept. of Education
Marilou Matsuura is the mother of two children. Matthew is a freshman at Kaiser High School, and Mia is a fourth grader at Hahaione Elementary. Matsuura is also a member of Parents for Public Schools Hawaii, an organization committed to ensuring all children in Hawaii have access to a quality public education.
Both Matsuura and her husband are products of public schools. They both have great memories of their teachers and school experiences and have made lifelong friends there.
“Living here in Hawaii Kai, we knew our kids would be attending the schools in the community given the excellent things we heard and read about the schools,” Matsuura says. “It truly takes a village to raise a child and that could not be more evident than here in the Kaiser complex.”
Matsuura says that because her children are in public schools, their family is very invested in the community.
“We see our teachers and administrators around the neighborhood who send their own children to the same schools. Together, we are part of this very family oriented community,” she says. “Teachers and parents have a partnership in a child’s success. Parents provide the foundation for a child to succeed, while the schools help and guide that child to the various learning opportunities available.”
To Matsuura, volunteering at her children’s public schools has been truly rewarding. She says parent involvement is also something the schools rely on.
“I feel volunteering at the schools has offered me the opportunity to get to know my children’s classmates, fellow parents and teachers on a more personal level,” she says. “We all come together and are all working towards the same goal, which is to improve our schools and children.”
Matsuura believes that teaching is a selfless profession. However, it’s a profession where one individual can make a large impact in a child’s life.
“We can all remember a favorite teacher. The warmth, support and kindness a teacher provides in those growing years are immeasurable to a child’s well-being,” she explains.