Preschool music program earns Maui Girl Scout the Gold Award

After 12 years in Girl Scouting, Maui High School senior Kiana Miyoko Hiranaga, daughter of Paul and Beverly Hiranaga of Kahului, recently received the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award at a statewide presentation on Oahu.

The Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout can earn. Nationally, only 6 percent of eligible Girls Scouts achieve this honor.

The Gold Award project has to address a social concern, a community need versus a community want, and results have to be measurable and sustainable.

Through Hiranaga’s love of music and her desire to pursue a degree in the medical field, her project attempts to address the need to develop a quality preschool music program that is affordable and develops working memory, pattern recognition and auditory distinctions.

She created a curriculum at Wailuku Hongwanji Preschool and made instruments out of recyclable items. People who helped her along the way include Susana Browne, educational director at Maui Arts & Cultural Center; Kay Fukumoto, president of Maui Taiko; Karen Yoshida, director Wailuku Hongwanji Preschool; Mary Lynn Goode, music instructor at Montessori School of Maui; and Beverly Hiranaga, troop leader.

Hiranaga will be attending the University of Portland’s School of Nursing this fall.