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This is the very first professional development series Nā Pua Noʻeau offered to the community.

In an effort to empower and guide Native Hawaiian ʻohana and keiki towards a pathway to higher education, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa enrichment program, Nā Pua Noʻeau (NPN) launched a new professional development workshop series. Through August and September, NPN UH Mānoa, part of the campus’ Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge and Native Hawaiian Student Services, conducted seven Hoʻokumu Noʻeau professional development workshops on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island reaching a total of 86 professionals including educators, social workers, administrators and coordinators from across the state.

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Participants learn about activities featured in the ʻIke in a Box kits.

Hoʻokumu Noʻeau was born with impeccable timing due to feedback and requests from the community to learn how some of Nā Pua Noʻeau‘s best practices can be implemented with students,” said Kinohi Gomes, NPN UH Mānoa program director.

Besides UH Mānoa, the workshops were held in Kapolei, Hilo, Mountain View and Waikoloa, and focused on strategies to help keiki broaden their learning and encourage them to become the reciprocators of learning and teaching with their ʻohana at home.

Tools for haumāna (students)

person looking at things in box kit
The kits include an art project identifying support systems in and out of the hale (home).

Each participant was provided up to 25 ʻIke in a Box kits, an array of hands-on projects and materials, to distribute to keiki grades K–5 and their ʻohana. The cultural-based educational kit included activities focused on how the ʻōhiʻa lehua is a metaphor for well-being and resiliency for ʻohana. It featured family engagement projects related to identifying different emotions in Hawaiian and English and ʻōlelo noʻeau (Hawaiian proverbs).

“We know our ʻohana are a vital pillar for the overall academic and inspirational success of our keiki, and it is important that the conversations of acquired knowledge are echoed between the ‘classroom’ and the hale (at home) over time,” said Lisa Letoto-Ohata, NPN UH Mānoa program assistant.

Established in 1989, NPN provides haumāna (students) first-class learning opportunities ranging from visual and culinary arts, literacy and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), aimed at providing direct access and a bridge between the community and higher education.

The inaugural Hoʻokumu Noʻeau workshop series dispersed 1,200 ʻIke in a Box kits and is co-sponsored by the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health in collaboration with Māpuna Lab.

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