Always a Voice for Students

Imua ʻIolani

Always a Voice for Students

Imua ʻIolani

Always a Voice for Students

Imua ʻIolani

Lower School’s “Lunch With A Friend” Becomes Weekly Fun!

First and fifth grade share a free play together during homeroom.

The change from Lunch with a Friend to buddies began last year when Lower School adopted a new social emotional learning program. This curriculum was previously created to address student self awareness, self management, and responsible decision making. According to Ms. Ide, the Lower School Administration implemented this program because it “met the needs of the school at the time.” It helped older students exercise the lessons they learn in class such as character building, school life and social integrity. For example, fifth grade students practice being a good friend and teaching the first graders. Mrs. Chikamori, a first grade teacher, explains that her students take advantage of this program to meet with their fifth grade buddies weekly. Previously, the meet-ups happened only once a quarter for Lunch with a Friend. Now there are more opportunities for new partnerships between all of Lower School. The frequent get-togethers give teachers the chance to work and learn from teachers outside of their grade level. Having weekly buddies instead gives students the chance to develop a deeper connection with each other. Mrs. Chikamori says, “We meet once a week and the activities that the students do together are beneficial in many ways. First and foremost, it really gives the students an opportunity to develop strong relationships.”

Strengthening bonds between Lower School students and their older buddies is beneficial because it provides positive role models and entertainment. Upper Schoolers look back at their time in Lower School and recall the fun times they spent with their buddies. Ella Aoki ’27, says, “It was a positive time to relax and have fun”. As an older buddy, it gave them the chance to de-stress by running around and interacting with new people. Recently, first grade students met their fifth grade buddies for the first time. First grade students say they could laugh and have a good time with their buddy, despite it being the first time they interacted. Mrs. Chikamori says that overall, this program benefits her students since it gives them positive role models and mentors. She explains, “The fifth graders had experience in first grade so it is beneficial because they can mentor their first grade friend and be a role model.” Younger students receive support and advice from their buddies who went through the same experiences as them in previous years. 

Even as Lunch with a Friend changes, the heart of the tradition stays the same. There may no longer be a hot pizza or cartons of pog being passed around, but the sound of laughter, radiant smiles, and most importantly, bonds between students are stronger than ever before. While Lunch with a Friend may hold a special place in the hearts of many upper school students, the ‘buddies’ have come to have a similar meaning to the Lower Schoolers. “We don’t really have a name for the program,” Mrs. Ide, a fifth grade teacher said while laughing. “The kids know it as ‘buddies’, and when they see it on the schedule, you can just see them light up.” The change in Lunch with a Friend reminds us that for both older and younger students, inter-campus relationships are something to be cherished. 

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Naomi N., Staff

Hi, my name is Naomi and I am in ninth grade. This is my tenth year at ‘Iolani and my second year in Imua Newsroom. I joined Imua as an eighth grader last year because I wanted to explore new electives and strengthen my writing abilities. Moreover, I was interested in photography and reaching out of my comfort zone. I discovered that not only my interest in taking pictures grew, but so did my confidence to host interviews with ‘Iolani faculty. One fun fact about me is that I was born in New York, moved to California, and settled in Hawai‘i when I was four years old. I am excited to start a new year in Imua!

Naomi M., Managing Editor Shadow
Hi! My name is Naomi Matsuura and this is my second year in Imua Newsroom. I joined last year to improve my writing skills and I’m continuing into my Freshman year since it gives me the opportunity to learn skills such as photography and design. This year, I’ll be the managing editor shadow. A fun fact about me is I have two cats named Phil and Lizzie.
Sabinne M., Copy Editor
Hi, I’m Sabinne! I’m currently a freshman. This is my second year writing for Imua, and my first year as the copy editor. I initially joined Imua to escape the orchestra program, but ended up loving the creative freedom I found through writing here in Newsroom. Outside of school, I enjoy swimming and hanging out with my friends.

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