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image Project: Kanu o ka 'Aina Learning 'Ohana

Kanu o ka 'Aina Learning 'Ohana


A Hawaiian welcome chant greets you affectionately, inviting you in. A warm embrace, welcome.

In the piko, the center of the complex, a group of dancers ranging from 8 to 18 years, practice hula on a stone platform or pa hula. They are preparing a hula kahiko (ancient dance) composed and choreographed by three of the students, which will be the final number of their annual hula drama. This hula drama constitutes their performance-based assessment to authentic audiences from near and far, providing clear evidence of a multitude of academic and cultural standards the students have reached over the past school year.

This Community Resource Center includes computer and multi-media laboratories designed to meet the technology needs of middle and high school students, as well as adults. Inside, several kupuna are drinking mamake tea from the student-run cafe, as they talk story about times past. These oral histories are video taped by three middle-school students, who will then edit the footage into a DVD using the Center’s video suite. In the CISCO Lab, high school students are learning how to network computers, while next door, another group, joined by peers from other schools, participate in an online college-prep math class. In the multi-media production room, middle and high school students belonging to the Waipio Waterstudy are working on a bi-lingual book nearly ready for professional publication. It’s about a young Hawaiian taro farmer asserting his water rights. The students, who co-wrote the story, are using an indigenous color palette for their illustrations.

A feeling of aloha permeates . Throughout the complex, you can hear the laughter and chattering of happy children and engaged youth. They enjoy learning in this atmosphere of nurturing and care, where all are encouraged to reach their highest level.

This project will be nestled in the green pastures of Puukapu, Waimea on 15 acres of Hawaiian Homes Land. Incorporating environmentally-friendly design and energy self-sufficiency, it will model community-sustainability, cultural revitalization and rural economic development, and serve as a living model of a community-based, culturally-based community learning center for other communities locally, nationally and globally.

It will be a learning destination for the entire ohana (family), a place for kanu of ka aina or plants of the land, both literally and figuratively, to thrive and prosper in an atmosphere of aloha , a home to all who want to learn and perpetuate Hawaii’s native language, culture and traditions. A vibrant culture is the sign of a vivacious, healthy people. It is dedicated to growing educated, energetic, culturally-grounded Hawaiians, who in turn will benefit all of Hawaii.

Recognized Value Award 2007



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