Pua Kaiaulu (Summer)
Grades 9-12, Mākua & Kūpuna
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"I now understand my kuleana that I must fulfill for my community. I want to revive the Hawaiian culture back on the west and get everyone to connect; I heard a lot of peoples stories of the land they take care or own and it was truly inspiring the work they put into the aina and why they do it." (student)
This year's Pua Kaiaulu was amazing. We had 6 kumu - all from Waianae Schools; and 33 students - representing all four Waianae Coast High Schools (i.e., Nanakuli High, Waianae High, Kamaile Academy, and Papahana o Kaiona). The focus was connecting to aina, the strengths within their community, community members who advocate for their community, and the challenges. Kumu and haumana learned together, as most of what was learned is not covered in a traditional classroom - but information that can serve as the foundation of an informed citizen. We also want to support kumu as they think about their curriculum. The whole group was divided into 5 groups - partly to deepen pilina but also in anticipation of COVID surge (so we would already have small group bubbles). The five groups were: Water, Fire Mitigation, Ai Pono, Renewable Energy and Indigenous Practices. Every Monday was spent as a whole group - learning relavent mo'olelo. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each group studied and researched independently. And, Friday we all came together again to reflect. The community and researchers served as the kumu.
This program took an incredible amount of time to plan - as each group had their own curriculum and huaka'i. But it was well worth it. I have attached the Master Schedule to illustrate the diversity of experiences for each group. At the end of the five weeks, each student recorded a final reflection about their experience.
In the end, Pua Kaiaulu helped give voice to the haumana. It deepened their connection to aina, culture and ancestors. It provided valuable insight into the work of so many who have devoted their lives to community advocacy. The students first met those in their community and then the net was widened so students met advocates throughout the islands. I hope the testimonies, pictures, master schedule and reflections help you understand the impact this experience has on our community of students.