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College of Education Doctoral Student Selected to Participate in National Scholars Program

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jennifer Parks, (808) 956-0416
College of Education
Posted: Nov 26, 2008

Hoʻokulāiwi, a partnership that includes educators from the Nānākuli/Waiʻanae community; Hawaiʻi Department of Education Nānāikapono Elementary School; UH Mānoa College of Education Hoʻokulāiwi ʻAha Hoʻonaʻauao ʻŌiwi (Center for Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Education); and UH Mānoa Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language, has been awarded $1,241,619 by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Project Nānā i ka Pulapula: A Partnership to Improve Education for Native Hawaiian Children will be funded through September 2011 by the U.S. Department of Education‘s Native Hawaiian Education Program.

Nānā i ka Pulapula will be conducted primarily at Nānāikapono Elementary School in Nānākuli, but some services will be extended to students, teachers, and community members in other Nānākuli/Waiʻanae community locations with substantial Native Hawaiian populations. The project will focus on instructional approaches designed to best meet the needs of Hawaiian children. Three primary goals are to (1) improve the design and implementation of a teacher education program to ensure that teachers are well prepared to address the unique needs of Native Hawaiian children, (2) develop activities that enhance beginning literacy, reading, and mathematics among Native Hawaiian students in kindergarten through sixth grade, and (3) determine the current educational needs of Native Hawaiian children.

Specific activities will include intensive literacy workshops facilitated by UH partners with continuous follow-up support provided by experienced on-site teachers; graduate level course work taught on-site; collaboration in the preparation of pre-service teachers recruited from Native Hawaiian communities; cultural workshops conducted by Native Hawaiian community experts; an innovative home-school connection project; coordinated after school student services that build on and support classroom practices; and research on teacher professional development and curriculum development.

Recently retired principal of Nānāikapono and Chair of the Education Committee of the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly, Myron Brumaghim, explains the importance of the Hoʻokulāiwi Partnership‘s mission: "We want our children to live their dreams. We want to ensure that our children receive rich educational opportunities that prepare them for good jobs, to be good people who live healthy lives and who raise healthy families, to be good citizens, and to have passions for learning beyond their formal educations. And, most important, our community wants to be self-determining in this process. This will be best achieved through the preparation of well-qualified teachers, administrators, researchers, and curriculum developers who support children to reach high levels of academic achievement through rich educational opportunities."

It is expected that 100 educators of Native Hawaiian children will receive services to enhance their professional expertise and knowledge of Native Hawaiian culture and traditions. In addition, there will be a focus on developing and implementing innovative, Native Hawaiian-based literacy, reading, and mathematics curricula to serve 900 students. Maintaining effective partnerships with the University of Hawaiʻi and building stronger partnerships with the Nānākuli/Waiʻanae community are critical components to the project‘s success. This community, school, and university partnership represents an important approach to improving education for Native Hawaiian children.

For more information on Hoʻokulāiwi, please contact Margie Maaka at or Pōhai Kukea Shultz at