HI Sept. 17, 2014 - The Administration for Native Americans
has awarded the 'Aha Punana Leo Hawaiian language nest preschools
a $300,000 grant for the first year of a three-year grant project.
The project will enhance and strengthen Punana Leo's quality and
impact in the Native Hawaiian community through increasing language
proficiency and the professional capabilities of its staff.
The grant will be used for historical research, the development
of teacher guides and staff training at the annual week-long 'Aha
Nu?ukia Summer Intensive training and through Semi-Annual Meetings
the only professional development and early childhood education
training conducted entirely through Hawaiian.
The 'Aha Punana Leo's Project Director, Kehaulani Shintani, is excited
by the news, "This grant will enable us to continue to provide training
for our staff who work with children as well as develop more material
for our children and families. It will also fund teacher trainings
that are critical to ensuring the high standard of our language
revitalization program statewide. "
This grant is the second of its kind awarded to the 'Aha Punana
Leo by the Administration for Native Americans. A previous grant
helped to pilot a Hawaiian medium teacher education program that
has provided 62 Punana Leo teachers with college level credits through
9 Hawaiian language courses and 6 Hawaiian medium Early Childhood
Although Hawaiian is one of two official languages in the State
of Hawai?i, most early childhood education training and materials
are available only in the English language. To date, very little
of the States' resources have been used for Hawaiian medium early
childhood education. Punana Leo has been working diligently through
the support of grants such as this to create materials to support
students and their families and provide Hawaiian medium teacher
training equal to that supported in English schools.
'Aha Punana Leo operates 11 preschools on five islands, two infant
and toddler programs, and works in partnership with four charter
Hawaiian medium K-12 sites on four islands. 'Aha Punana Leo is also
the first early education program conducted through an endangered
and indigenous language to be accredited by World Indigenous Nations
Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) and is a member of a consortium
of internationally recognized schools, organizations and university
programs in Hawai?i dedicated to reestablishing Hawaiian as the
first and main language of the home.
For more information, please visit: www.ahapunanaleo.org