ʻAʻohe pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi (One learns from many sources) is an ʻōlelo noʻeau or Hawaiian language proverb at the center of the upcoming 2022 Children’s Literature Conference on Friday, June 3.
Sponsored by the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Department of English, the free virtual conference will focus on multiple forms of knowledge that inspire. The event is open to the public. (Register here)
“The conference aims to celebrate both the creativity and passion for children’s literature in our local communities and throughout Hawaiʻi,” said Leanne Day, assistant professor of English and conference organizer. “I am thrilled to host a diverse range of panelists who are all invested in storytelling and education for Hawaiʻi’s children.”
The conference will be co-moderated by UH Hilo students Katina Gronowski, an English major, and Allison Piña, a marine science major with biology and English minors.
The conference logo is designed by student Graecin Beebe who is also majoring in English. “I see the way stories and legends have shaped my understanding of not only my home in Hawaiʻi, but also the rest of the world around me,” Beebe explained.
Former UH Mānoa kumu ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language instructor) Keao NeSmith will share his experiences translating popular fantasy series such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings into Hawaiʻi’s native tongue. NeSmith currently teaches Hawaiian at Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy (HPA) in Waimea.
“Teaching at HPA has presented new opportunities for me to involve my students in the creative and translation process of the Harry Potter series,” he explained. “I would often, at the start of class, spend five minutes or so projecting my translation on the large screen. I’d invite my students to watch the English column and shout out words and concepts they know in Hawaiian and I would type it in the Hawaiian column as I translate. Although they are only able to contribute in small ways, their Hawaiian word suggestions ultimately will appear in print as their contribution, and they enjoy seeing how the Hawaiian column is worded.”
Comprised of four panels, the conference will encourage audience discussion and Q&A with the speakers. Panelists include artists, writers, educators and librarians based on Hawaiʻi Island.
The panelists will focus on the significance of storytelling for Hawaiʻi’s children, encouraging educators to incorporate place-based learning and familiarity with ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and culture into their teaching.