The banyan tree, a beloved presence for generations when it was part of Barwick Playground, now shades children at the new Kosasa Community, which offers an abundance of indoor and outdoor spaces for play, exploration and learning.

Welcome to Kosasa!

The Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Community for Grades 2 – 5 Opens

Punahou recently unveiled its stunning new learning environment – the Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Community for Grades 2 – 5 – with its state-of-the-art classrooms, a K – 8 Junior School Learning Commons, as well as expansive outdoor spaces. “We’re dazzled by the completed Community – adults and kids alike,” Junior School Principal Paris Priore-Kim ’76 said. “The real allure is that, at a glance, we can envision the vast potential and rich experiences it offers.”

The library at the new Junior School Learning Commons offers more than 60,000 books for grades K – 8. “The love of reading is definitely alive, and our students are not only finding great reads, but are able to find spaces within our library to get lost in their books,” said Nozomi Ozaki, the K – 8 library department head. 
Music teacher Karen Drozd leads fourth graders as they practice drumming patterns on the African djembe. Drozd says the Quilter Lab for Creative Arts offers lots of room for singing, playing instruments and learning about music theory.
Outdoor Education faculty member Shelby Ho ’01 sits with third graders to explain the significance of the new Hawaiian navigational star compass at Kosasa, which was designed by alumni artist Leighton Lam ’74 under the Ka’aumoana halau. “It’s a valuable tool to help kids continue to revisit the concept of star navigation,” Ho said. “This new area has the opportunity to teach, connect, inspire and provide space for reflection and wonder.” 

“As we explore Kosasa’s new outdoor spaces, we have the opportunity to teach kids about the delicate balance of an ecosystem, and how to nurture the plants and spaces that will be used for the lū‘au later in the year,” said Outdoor Education faculty member Andy Nelson. “The spaces give students the opportunity to appreciate and connect with the natural world, inspire curiosity and exploration, and learn how to be responsible stewards of the land.”

Children play at the new Scott Playground. The new outdoor spaces at Kosasa include an abundance of native Hawaiian plants, the Ka’aumoana hālau and a terraced lo‘i.  

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