Kaiola Summer Program
Grades 6-8 and 9-12
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Oh, I'm going to use the morning session. Like if I ever get nervous I can use like the breathing exercises the two in and then ha out. The one out.
Learning outcomes for our program were to provide a learning environment where participants could foster cultural values and foundation, leadership, and Mauliola (optimum well-being). We used a variety of tools to gather participant experiences, learning, and growth, including traditional surveys, stories, and reflection circles. We summarize and highlight participant experiences as they relate to the learning outcomes below:
Strengthening their Cultural Foundation
Participants were able to strengthen their cultural foundation through moʻolelo, cultural protocols, and practices. Here are some highlights from participant surveys and stories:
- 81.3% of participants felt the program was very helpful in understanding their Native Hawaiian identity, while the remaining 18.7% felt the program was somewhat helpful.
- 68.8% felt the program was very helpful in growing their understanding of Hawaiian culture, 25% said it was somewhat helpful, and 6.2% said it was a little helpful.
- A student shared, “This also helped my Hawaiian identity because I learned about the kupuna who rode the sharks.”
Students showed important qualities of leaders, including taking kuleana to learn about and care for their ʻāina. When asked what do you want to do with your family or in your neighborhood after the program, students shared they wanted to:
- “Ground myself with the aina, breathe good, go in the ocean more, pick up the trash”
- Learn more about the shark riders and relearning traditional names
- Increase the use of native place names in my ahupuaa
- Explore the island more and learn the moolelo behind the places
- Encourage my school to allow intermediate students to have field trips that allow us to visit this area and continue to keep the ocean clean
Increasing Mauliola (Well-Being)
At the beginning of the program, over half of the participants (55.6%) said they sometimes make time to quiet their minds, meditate, or practice mindfulness. Through the program we taught participants how to kilo kino and kilo hanu. By the end of the program:
- 68.8% of participants felt that kilo kino was very helpful to them at that moment, with 31.2% saying it was somewhat helpful at that moment.
- Over half of participants (56.3%) said they would often use kilo kino in their daily lives
We also asked specific questions about mindfulness, including observing things around them, awareness of themselves, and self-regulation. By the end of the program, more participants agreed that they can calm themselves down after experiencing distressing thoughts or impulses. However, more participants reported at the end of the program that they catch themselves thinking something negative and are not in complete awareness of themselves. This may be due to being more aware of their unawareness and ways that they can improve their mindfulness.
We believe an important part of Mauliola is helping participants connect with themselves. We feel mental fitness and emotional hygiene are vital for keiki to reach a positive kahua and feeling of Mauliola. Through kilo kino, kilo hanu, and other protocols, participants can strengthen their relationship with themselves in different ways. From about 44 to 56% of participants strengthened their pilina with themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually from the beginning of the program.
Beyond surveys, participants also shared stories about their time in the program that they would share with their ohana. Every student said their story made them feel proud. Here are two excerpts from stories related to well-being:
- When we learned the different place names, it stuck with me because it helped me to ground myself in the present area and space. Every morning we had a separate time set aside to dedicate to centering and grounding ourselves. I enjoyed being able to hoʻokuʻu (release) any bad mana and root myself in the aina. All of these things moved me to be a better person grounded in the aina and our kupuna that came before us, and has helped me to realize my kuleana to the upcoming generations, to continue to hoʻōla the traditional names and practices of this beautiful place we call home, Hawaiʻi nei. Oh and also the paddling was awesome to be a part of it taught the strength both physical and mental and how to work together as a waʻa to get somewhere faster.
- One moment from this program I would like to share with my ohana is when we picked up trash on Mokauea and Kahakaʻaulana. I enjoyed being able to physically see how much cleaner it looked and I was very proud to know that we were able to slightly help to keep the ocean that much more beautiful. Personally, this moment was special because I felt like I had connected with the aina mentally, spiritually, and physically.