Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thoughts on Statehood...

Today's blog was more complex and required more critical thinking than the past few weeks, but the youth did a great job. We had a brief discussion on Statehood and even read an original article from LIFE in 1959 about Hawaii becoming part of the United States. Then, I asked them to share their thoughts on why they are grateful Hawaii is a state. This week, I think it makes more sense to pull ideas from everyone's blogs instead of just sharing one person's thoughts.

We had an interesting mix of youth participate in our Blogger Battle--including a few military youth and even a youth who moved here from American Samoa. They all felt fortunate that as citizens of the United States, they were able to live in Hawaii. Kyler S., a military youth, stated that "if Hawaii did not become a state, I would not have been transferred here." Sheldon H. was thankful that Hawaii was made a state because Barack Obama was born and raised here, giving him the opportunity to become President. Courtney N. had an interesting perspective on Hawaii's statehood, sharing: "I like that Hawaii is a state because now I get to learn more about Hawaii because it's part of the United States." She realized that schools often emphasize our nation's history over that of other countries, and if Hawaii was it's own country, we might not know as much about the islands.

Two other youth, Justice M. and George B. both appreciated the fact that Hawaii offers many people the opportunity to meet others from various cultures and ethnic backgrounds. Justice M. encouraged people from different cultures to talk to each other and teach each other about their backgrounds. George B. thinks that "statehood was a good idea because it let people from other countries come to the islands to get to know each other. People from many countries meet people that may be just like them. Maybe we can find out what they like and dislike and we can try to learn each other's languages." I think that both of these youth were recognizing that Hawaii provides us with an opportunity to learn about a lot of different people's beliefs and values, and when it comes down to it, maybe there's more similarities between people than differences.

~Natalie Pawluk Moore, YDD