NKF of Hawaii brings kidney disease awareness to Manana Elementary School


The National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii's Youth Programs Department and Pearl City's award winning Red Light Challenge Band stopped in at Manana Elementary School earlier this month on Tuesday, February 10 for a special "Kidney Day" presentation to help educate the students about kidney disease during an assembly held in the school cafeteria.

The NKF of Hawaii’s Youth Programs access schools with their kidney disease awareness program across the state from Kauai to the Big Island. The Manana Elementary School assembly was the first presentation for the NKF of Hawaii outside of a classroom setting.

Red Light Challenge Band members Kyle and Sean Luster organized the Kidney Day event and also introduced a special song that teaches the students about how to donate a kidney. The February 10 assembly was also filmed for a documentary to be aired in Hawaii in early March.

Diana Benningfield, Senior Director, National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii

“We’re here today with the Red Light Challenge and our programs department with our youth coordinator to present a kidney day special for the children to educate them about kidney disease. Kyle and Sean with the Red Light Challenge, they know them really well here, arranged the day for us. They have actually written a song about donating your kidneys. We also have a large project that’s being kicked off with a thirty minute documentary in March and this is being filmed as part of that documentary.  Sean and Kyle have written a song specific to that need.

Today is fabulous. The kids just make it. They are so great. As you know, it’s very difficult to get adults to change their behavior patterns, but if we can reach them when they’re young and they’re telling the adults how things should be, it’s amazing how much progress you can make in a family towards healthy eating habits. Also, we are very proud of our youth program presenters today. This is a new program that’s only been out for about six months and it’s very successful as you can see.  The children are engaged and we have some wonderful personnel."

Stephanie Locke, Youth Program Coordinator, National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii

“We’re here today to educate the students of Manana Elementary about kidney health, about the functions of the kidney, what the kidneys do, and also talk about kidney disease which is a really important issue for people here in Hawaii. In Hawaii, one in seven people will get kidney disease in their lifetime. So we’re here to combat that and to help prevent that from ever happening for these kids. We’re talking a lot about healthy food choices, the importance of exercise, and just general knowledge about kidney disease and how to make some healthy choices in their lives.

This is so exciting.  This is something that we haven’t done yet.  The Red Light Challenge wanted to present some songs about kidney disease so we are so excited to partner with them and to talk about kidney disease. We would like to say mahalo to all the schools that allow us to come and present our message. It’s fantastic to be invited. Everybody’s been so welcoming. We feel blessed to belong to an organization like the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii."

Kyle and Sean Luster, Red Light Challenge Band

“It’s really cool to be involved in this. We had a lot of fun covering the song and kind of making it our own, so we’re trying just to make it as exciting as possible and get the kids involved and get everybody involved and excited about this kidney foundation.”  (Kyle Luster)

"It’s really fun to be involved in a good cause and the song. It should be a lot of fun. Hopefully everyone’s singing it and hopefully it helps spread the word for the kidney foundation. The song is, “I Love My Kidneys” and it was written by Keith Hogan. We updated some things for it, so we’re trying to make it fun for everyone.” (Sean Luster)

If you may be interested in having a presentation at your school, please e-mail Stephanie Locke at: [email protected].


To learn more about the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, log on to: http://www.kidneyhi.org

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Stephanie Locke, Youth Program Coordinator, National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii (far left)

is pictured with her team of NKF of Hawaii youth program presenters during "Kidney Day"

at the Manana Elementary School cafeteria on Tuesday, February 10, 2015.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

(Pictured from L-R), Mr.Alika Ahu, Vice Principal, Manana Elementary School, Kyle and Sean Luster, Red

Light Challenge Band, and Diana Benningfield, Senior Director, National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Mahalo to Kyle and Sean for their commitment to our Pearl City District Complex

students through their exceptional gift of music that inspires to teach, educate,

and bring awareness to the important issues that affect our youth today and as they

mature into adults. Beside the brothers successful music careers and community efforts,

Kyle is currently a senior at Pearl City High School while Sean is a fourth grade

substitute teacher at Manana Elementary School.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Manana Elementary School students listen in as the Red Light Challenge Band

performs their kidney disease awareness composition that they hope will be

incorporated into the National Kidney Foundation campaign across America.