Cooling our keiki: Coalition seeks AC in schools
According to the Niu Valley Middle School, from August through November, there were over 300 heat-related visits to the school nurse's office.
Maggie Hong, a mother of three children, all of whom attend Kaiser Complex schools believes that number is a microcosm of the situation across the state.
"They come home telling me how hot it is, they’re dripping with sweat," said Hong.
She is a leader of the "Cool our Keiki Coalition" which aims to bring air conditioning to schools across Hawaii. They began this year in Hawaii Kai.
"We're working with officials and our principals to get funding to have AC in all 6 schools in our Kaiser Complex area," added Hong.
A mother of three with no prior intentions of lobbying politicians, Hong agrees the path has been difficult to navigate at times. However, Cool Our Keiki has a meeting at the state capitol Tuesday with Hawaii state senators, representatives, city council members and the Department of Education. Hong says she hopes this meeting provides a preliminary timeline for implementing AC in schools.
"We’d like to get our classrooms cooled not in two years not in eight years we’d like to get them cooled as soon as possible," she explained.