LAHAINA - Lahaina Restoration Foundation (LRF) recently shared Lahaina's rich history with nearly a dozen teachers representing the six West Side schools through its program, "History In Our Back Yard."
For the eighth consecutive year, the program has provided new teachers a free history tour to increase awareness of the important role Lahaina has played in the history of Hawaii.
Reaching nearly 200 educators over these years, LRF has also helped provide them a sense of place within the community in which they work.
Teachers visited Waiola Church during the recent “History In Our Back Yard” tour.
Coordinated by LRF's Community Education Committee, the program is one of three history tours offered to the community. The foundation also gives seniors ("History for our Kupuna") and Lahaina merchants ("History In Our Front Yard") walking tour orientations exploring the rich history of the community in which they work and live.
"We have continued to reach out to our schools to provide primarily new teachers this educational tour," stated Lahaina Restoration Foundation Board Member and Committee Chair Andy Kutsunai.
"This year, the teachers were keenly focused on what they saw, heard and documented with their photos and notes - it really makes us appreciate the positive impact this makes to them, as they take the time from their busy schedule to participate in this program."
The tour touched on more than 30 of Lahaina's historic sites and museums, mostly on foot led by both Kutsunai and fellow Board Member Karee Carlucci.
At the Moku'ula archaeological site, a representative from the Friends of Moku'ula shared knowledge of this culturally significant place and discussed current projects of its restoration. Other stops included the Waiola Churchyard, Lahaina Hongwanji Mission, Hale Pa'ahao (Old Prison), various Lahaina harbor-front sites, Baldwin Home Museum, Plantation Life Museum at The Wharf Cinema Center and the Pioneer Mill and restored Smokestack site.
Attendees expressed their appreciation of the history shared. One teacher said "the program helped me understand the history of the community that I serve."
Another added, "The best part of the program was the expertly organized material with the knowledgeable speakers."
Many said that they appreciated being invited and learning so much in the process. The committee thanked everyone who attended, as well as partners and organizations for their assistance in making the tour possible. Transportation, refreshments and lunch were provided by LRF.
For 50 years, the foundation has been preserving Lahaina's historic buildings and sites. LRF is bringing these sites to life with candlelit tours of the Baldwin Home, cultural demonstrations at the Wo Hing Museum, free Hawaiian music concerts and a celebration of Lahaina's Plantation Days.
For more information, call 661-3262, visit www.lahainarestoration.org or follow LRF on Facebook and Twitter (@LahainaRestFnd).