The Priory's Kindergarten class took a field trip to the Hawai'i Children's Justice Center (CJC) on May 22 to give back to their surrounding community. Following in the footsteps of school founder Queen Emma, the students felt inspired to make their community more humane and just.
The CJC provides children with a warm and homelike setting while they are interviewed following a report of abuse or after witnessing a crime. The Nu'uanu CJC centeris the state's largest center, serving 1,100 children each year ranging in age from 2 to 18.
The students, along with their teacher Ms. Koseki, visited the center's Pali campus and brought stuffed animals to donate to the center and handwritten notes for the children who pass through the center. One student's note read: "You are braver than you know, stronger than you seem."
Statewide Director, Jasmine Mau-Mukai, along with two detectives and a social worker spoke to the children in general terms, explaining the center's mission and vision while giving a tour of the center, and thanked students for their compassion and thoughtful notes.
During their time at the CJC, students were giving the opportunity to learn about detective work and special equipment used in the interviewing process. They were escorted into a room used to record interviews and were able to watch themselves through two-way mirrors.
Following the visit, Mau-Mukai sent a letter to St. Andrew's Schools to thank students and Ms. Koseki for their generosity and for thinking of children in need. "Responding to cases of child abuse can be challenging and stressful work," she wrote in the letter. "The visit by your students and their gifts was uplifting and inspirational."