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Punana Leo o Maui to celebrate 30 years of perpetuating Hawaiian language at Ho‘omau 2017

By Staff | Mar 2, 2017

Kahaku Ritte-Camara dances at Ho‘omau. PHOTO BY KILI NAMAU`U.

WAILUKU – Na Leo Pulama o Maui, the nonprofit group of the Hawaiian immersion preschool of Punana Leo o Maui, invites the public to celebrate a living Hawaiian language at their 30th annual Ho’omau Hawaiian Music Concert.

The cultural event will take place on Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m. to sunset at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens in Kahului. The event will feature an impressive lineup of Hawaiian musicians and cultural demonstrations, huge live and silent auctions, local food, creative craft vendors, a selection of ‘awa at Hale ‘Awa and a fun-filled keiki (children) zone.

The Hawaiian entertainment lineup will feature Grammy Award winner Kalani Pe’a as well as Na Hoa, Matagi, Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi accompanied by Na Wai ‘Eha, Josh Tatofi, and the family duo of Kaumakaiwa and Kekuhi Kanaka’ole.

The students of Punana Leo o Maui, Punana Leo O Lahaina, Punana Leo O Hana, Ke Kula Kaiapuni O Maui and the talented parents of Punana Leo o Maui students will open the day with a series of Hawaiian mele (songs) that will definitely entertain the crowd.

Tickets are $15 pre-sale and $20 at the gate; children ten years old and younger are free. Tickets are available through any Punana Leo o Maui parent, all Minit Stop locations, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, Native Intelligence, Maui Thing, U’i Gallery, Watercress Sports Bar & Grill and at Punana Leo o Maui in Wailuku. For more information on the event, visit “http://www.hoomau.com”>www.hoomau.com.

The funds raised at Ho‘omau directly support Punana Leo o Maui by providing financial assistance for student scholarships, quarterly family gatherings, additional educational classroom materials, teacher professional development needs and more. PHOTO BY GERRY MOONEY.

Punana Leo o Maui is a family-based learning environment in which preschoolers are provided with a quality early childhood education entirely through the Hawaiian language.

The school first opened its doors in 1987 in Wailuku and began educating a mere dozen students. Thirty years later, the Hawaiian immersion preschool has an annual enrollment of 30 students and has graduated over 600 students over the years – many who have continued on to Ke Kula Kaiapuni O Maui, the Hawaiian immersion program within Maui’s Department of Education system.

“We have come a long way, and now it’s wonderful to see our school succeeding in our vision of e ola ka ‘olelo Hawai’i (the Hawaiian language shall live). What makes it even more amazing is that we are now welcoming new keiki who are the keiki of past Punana Leo o Maui graduates. This really brings our Hawaiian immersion education program full-circle and shows that we are raising a new generation of Hawaiian speakers,” commented Punana Leo o Maui Kahu Kili Namau’u.

The community event is hosted by Na Leo Pulama o Maui, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, which is the parent and community support group of Punana Leo o Maui.

For more information on Ho’omau 2017, Punana Leo o Maui or Na Leo Pulama o Maui, contact Kahu Namau’u at 244-5676 or visit www.hoomau.com.