Hoʻōla Kākou (Fall Session)
Kaʻala Farm, Inc
3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Post-high / College
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All outcome measures of Hōʻola Kākou were met and exceeded. The fall session of Hōʻola Kākou reinforced the importance and desire for hands-on experiences that connect students to culture and ancestral knowledge. Hōʻola Kākou proposed to provide cultural and healing opportunities for Waiʻanae Coast youth through the reconnection to ancestral lands and practices. Kaʻala staff anticipated that students, along with their kumu, would attend up to four sessions at Kaʻala Learning Center to learn about the history of Kaʻala and scientific concepts of sustainability within an ahupuaʻa – including water, food, medicine and clothing.
Outcome 1: The response was overwhelming. We had anticipated that Kaʻala could handle approximately 140 haumana and kumu for 1 - 4 visits to Kaʻala - which totals 560 encounters. Every class that requested learning opportunities through Hōʻola Kākou - requested multiple visits. The minimum number of visits requested were 3 and the most requested was 11. So, while we anticipated a total of 560 encounters; our final count was 712 with 93 students and kumu. All of the student visits were from Waiʻanae Coast high schools. The class with the most visits requested an in-depth project at the conclusion of the four-part planned visit. They are now studying the health of the stream that flows through Kaʻala Learning Center. In addition to the visits to Kaʻala Learning Center, kumu requested visits to their classroom for the purpose of more deeply connecting the hands-on experience to the course curriculum and content. And, to deepen and reflect on the learning. We were able to respond to every request - and the responses to these opportunities were more than rewarding. These experences provided both rigorous educational experiences, but also much need social, spiritual and identity development experiences. In December, Kaʻala organized a special fibers arts day for students. This fiber arts day was organized in response to the overwhelming response to this project. We have attached an article published in the Waiʻanae Coast community newspaper - Westside Stories. One of the Hōʻola Kākou participating students took it upon herself to write about the day. All of the participating students live and go to school in Waiʻanae; however, not all provided the self-report of Hawaiian/non-Hawaiian identity. Of the participating students 63% identified as Hawaiian, 8% identified as non-Hawaiian, and 29% did not provide a response.
Outcome 2: While the vast majority of visits were made to Kaʻala Learning Center - many extensions to the learning were made. The aina connections were supplemented with classroom learning at schools. And, a number of huakaʻi to other wahi pani on the Coast were requested and made. The purposes were to expand the students' understanding of their community's contemporary and ancestral history.
Outcome 3: Kaʻala is fortunate to be a part of a wide network of organizations. The initial Hōʻola Kākou was with the University of Hawaii PLACES (Place-based Learning and Community Engagement in School) staff. PLACES is a program within the University that serves to engage and interest students in higher education. The PLACES program believes that authentic hands-on learning experiences are rigorous and relevant to students' lives and learning. They believe that this approach is an important strategy for interesting students in opportunities for higher education.