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Ho‘ōla Kākou

Kaʻala Farm, Inc

Wai‘anae, O‘ahu

3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Post-high / College

Spring 2023

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All outcome measures of Hoʻōla Kākou were met and exceeded. The spring session of Hoʻōla Kākou reinforced the importance and desire for hands-on experiences that connect students to culture and ancestral knowledge. Hoʻōla 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 ahupua’a – including water, food, medicine and clothing.

Outcome 1: The response was overwhelming. Kaʻala served 208 haumāna and kumu for 1 - 4 visits to Kaʻala Learning Center.

Every class that requested learning opportunities through Hoʻōla Kākou - requested multiple visits. 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 studying the health of the stream that flows through Kaʻala Learning Center. These experiences provided both rigorous educational experiences, but also much need social, spiritual and identity development experiences. All of the participating students live and go to school in Waiʻanae. Of the 208 participating students 86.5% identified as Hawaiian; and 31% live on Hawaiian Homelands.

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 a huakaʻi and moʻolelo 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 a part of a wide network of organizations.

The initial Hoʻōla 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.

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