This past school year, poʻokula Kāhealani Naeʻole-Wong announced a new redesign to its campus outreach department to equip and align the campus’ fourth kula (school), Hālau Kupukupu, with the structure needed to ensure critical alignment with Kūhanauna (SP2020).
One of the program’s courses, called Kinder-gardeners, lets kindergarten aged keiki explore the power of observation as they plan, plant, and harvest a māla (garden).
The changes were made in order to enhance the campus’ ability to:
- Incubate innovation for model 21st century Hawaiian learning environments,
- Provide a system of support and engagement for the campus, ‘ohana, and community, and
- Emerge as a strong partner to meet identified campus, regional and Network of Native Hawaiian School goals.
Kupukupu means “to sprout or grow” as leaves, blossoms, knowledge and ideas. As such, Hālau Kupukupu offers a number of dynamic Hawaiian culture-based landscape of educational opportunities that inspire young learners as they sprout, grow and mature into good and industrious learners and the next generation of ‘ōiwi leaders who will steward the future.
Karen Hayashida, Hauʻoli Motta and Rochelle Yamashita of Hālau Kupukupu.
One of Hālau Kupukupu’s largest and most visible undertakings is the campus’ Summer Innovations Academy, currently in its second year. Hālau Kupukupu Innovations Academy built upon the foundation laid by the school’s previous summer school program, Kula Kauwela, with exciting and innovative programs.
Hālau Kupukupu nurtures a sense of exploration and wonder with dynamic, ʻāina and culture-based learning activities.
The Summer Innovations Academy offers incredible learning opportunities where students explore and celebrate the resources and wonders of Moku O Keawe. Through exciting intersections of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM), haumāna and kumu learn and grow together in robust educational experiences that ignite passion for learning, curiosity, innovative thinking, and deeper aloha for our ʻāina, lāhui, and world.
Leading Hālau Kupukupu is Joy “Hau‘oli” Motta, who serves as po‘okumu for the kula.
“Our summer program is focused on guiding learners through rigorous and engaging ʻŌiwi STEAM inquiries while applying Hawaiian thinking in transformative ways,” shares Motta.
“Our haumāna aren’t just in the classroom. They are exploring the wonderful natural living laboratory of our ʻāina and working alongside practitioners, environmental scientists and engineers and industry leaders to innovate and design possible solutions to relevant challenges that impact our ʻāina and community.”
Motta, who had served as the campus outreach project coordinator over the past two years, will now have kuleana for the planning, integration, design, implementation, and evaluation of key educational programming and strategies which achieve the learner and community-building objectives of Hālau Kupukupu for KS Hawaiʻi and the broader Kūhanauna.
In this capacity, she also serves as KS Hawaiʻi’s point of contact for the Network of Native Hawaiian Schools and the broader Hawaiʻi Island region.
The realignment also shifted key staff into important support roles for this work.
Rochelle Yamashita supports Hālau Kupukupu as its Learning and Innovations Officer. In this role, Yamashita provides leadership support in program design, implementation, and assessment of learning needs including K-12, adult and educator growth and development.
Karen Hayashida serves as Hālau Kupukupu’s Manager of Support Services, where she continues to develop, establish, and oversee cross-functional systems and processes for all Hālau Kupukupu programmatic support and operations.
In addition to the Summer Innovations Academy, Hālau Kupukupu will help to develop new programming that will support campus’ continued growth in Hawaiian cultural perspectives. The school will also continue to support and sustain the positive momentum of the Kumuola Marine Science Education Center project and other extended learning opportunities with the campus’ valued community partners.
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