Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kauai Volunteer Teacher Recognized at Legislature

Rep. Kawakami, Liliana Perry, Mason Gibson, Rep. Tokioka, and Marilyn 

For more than thirty years, Marilyn Pollock has volunteered her time teaching art in Hanalei School and Kilauea School on Kauai's north shore, assisting inmates at the Kauai Community Correctional Center in earning their associate's degrees, as well as holding art workshops at her home. Today she was presented with a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the legislature for her three decades of community service by Kauai Representatives Derek Kawakami and James Tokioka.

Marilyn is known for using art as a medium to introduce children to history, culture, and science. Her latest project has challenged students to investigate the health of the Anini Reef as it suffers from the infestation of black algae by communicating with microbiologists, writing essays, and painting a mural of the reef in an effort to raise public awareness.

As Marilyn unfurled the beautiful mural of the reef in Senate Vice President Kouchi's office, she explained that there was an ulterior motive behind her visit. "We're here to lobby you on behalf of the reef," she told Kauai Representatives Kawakami and Tokioka. Ms. Pollock went on to explain the risk posed by the invasive algae as well as the civics and government lessons her students learned in the process of creating the mural.

The trip from Kauai to Honolulu was made possible through the generosity of an anonymous donor who covered the cost of airfare and accommodation for Marilyn, two students and their parents.

"There isn't a person on the island of Kauai whose life, or the life of a loved one, has not been touched by Marilyn Pollock," said Rep. Kawakami. "Her three decades of community service stand out as a prime example of how one individual can make a difference. She personifies the Aloha Spirit and is an inspiration to us all." 

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