Student Gets Help to Cool Schools on Molokai

Student Gets Help to Cool Schools on Molokai

Leonahe Crivello a 6th grader from Kaunakakai enlisted the help of NextEra Energy Hawai’i to cool her school.

At the young age of 11, Leonahemaikekaimalie Crivello of Kaunakakai Molokai has enormous dreams for her school and as Student Council President she is not only making big promises to her peers, she is following through and making her vision for her school and community a reality.

Leonahe said, “In 5th grade I didn’t have AC and now since I’m in 6th grade and had AC, I felt how other people was now without AC.”

Janice Espiritu, Principal of Kaunakakai Elementary said, “Our school experienced temperature readings, the highest was 98 degrees in a classroom. And the students were perspiring, I had a teacher faint, you know it was really hot in the classroom. And Leonahe she said that she wanted to help get AC to our school, to AC the entire school.”

Eric Gleason, President of NextEra Energy Hawai’i said, “Leonahe came up and introduced herself to me, she explained her story. You know she ran fro umm for school office on the platform of cooling the schools and so we just figured you know well maybe there’s something we can do about that. We didn’t really know what we could do. And we met with the department of education Superintendent Matayoshi and her team and they explained that there is this technology, hybrid solar air conditioning that they used in other schools and that’s really what got us started. We figured if we could help Leonahe and her community, we were happy to do it.”

NextEra Energy Hawaii donated 33 hybrid solar air conditioning units to Kaunakakai Elementary and Kilohana Elementary schools on Molokai.

Espiritu said, “Students and the staff here, it’s like they can’t believe that it’s happened, they’re smiling, they’re happy, all they say is ho we love working in a cool environment now you know everything is we love it, we love it. It’s just that feeling of excitement and that learning can take place, they can focus on their work instead of focusing on how hot it is in the classroom. So there’s nothing but smiles everywhere.

Crivello said, “Feels good, because this is like the biggest accomplishment I ever did.”

Hawai’I Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said, “I think she is an example and a model and the kind of student that we want all students to feel they can be, that they can take something that they care about and express themselves and think about how can we solve this problem in our community.”

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