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Reading time: 2 minutes

A master of education in teaching (MEdT) program student in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Education has taken teaching her first grade students how to read to a whole other level.

Maʻemaʻe Elementary School teacher Carissa Kano created a parody version of the ear-catching tune Ice Ice Baby to talk about the importance of reading every day and share reading strategies. Let’s Read Baby stars Kano and her colleagues, including Principal Lenn Uyeda. The idea was born out of an attempt to drum up excitement surrounding her students’ September reading challenge.

Carissa Kano

Although this is the first year she is teaching at Maʻemaʻe, Kano is no stranger to the education field. Both of her parents are longtime educators. Having previously taught at Trinity Christian School for four years, as well as at a preschool in Japan and a high school in Chicago over summer breaks, Kano started making fun videos while teaching online at Trinity in 2019 so her students would look forward to doing their assignments on their own.

“I believe that if you create a safe and loving environment, there is no limit to what students can do and the impact they can have on their families and communities,” said Kano. “Even through distance learning, it is still my job to make sure students know I care about them and will try my best to make learning fun.”

She added, “My parents have always emphasized the importance of building relationships. I can’t count how many times both of my parents have bumped into their grown students at Costco or at a restaurant and they cry and tell me how much my parents impacted their lives. This is why I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I am thankful to be learning how to continue to grow as an educator in the UH MEdT Program.”

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