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Punana Leo o Maui to present 2019 Ho‘omau

By Staff | Mar 21, 2019

Proceeds from Ho‘omau will go toward supporting Hawaiian Medium Education schools and growing their Hawaiian language programs and initiatives.

WAILUKU – Punana Leo o Maui’s parent group, Na Leo Pulama o Maui, invites the public to attend the 32nd annual Ho’omau on Saturday, March 30, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens.

In conjunction with Maui’s Hawaiian Medium Education (HME) programs, the island’s largest celebration of ‘olelo Hawai’i (Hawaiian language) will include Hawaiian entertainment, cultural demonstrations, craft vendors, a silent auction, ‘awa booths, keiki (children) honuanua games, ‘ono food and performances by more than 700 HME preschool through high school students.

“This is one of our favorite events of the year, because it brings all Maui HME schools together to promote ‘olelo Hawai’i,” said Kaimana Cabebe, Punana Leo o Hana site coordinator.

“Up until a few decades ago, ‘olelo Hawai’i was an endangered language, with only 30 keiki under the age of 18 able to speak ‘olelo Hawai’i. With the growth of HME programs and opportunities over the years, there are now thousands of keiki across the state who are fluent in ‘olelo Hawai’i.”

In addition to Punana Leo o Maui, Hana and Lahaina, Ho’omau will also include the Kula Kaiapuni schools: Hana High School, Kalama Intermediate, King Kekaulike High, Lahaina Intermediate, Lahainaluna High, Nahienaena Elementary and Paia Elementary.

Proceeds from Ho’omau will go toward supporting HME schools and growing their Hawaiian language programs and initiatives. For more information about the event, visit www.hoomau.com/.

Punana Leo o Maui offers a comprehensive, cultural curriculum through the Hawaiian language for keiki from two years and eight months up to six years old. Students learn to speak Hawaiian within just three to four months while also developing social, intellectual and perceptual motor skills through hands-on learning.

The keiki also learn different mele (song) and hula (dance), which they perform at the annual Maui County Fair and opening ceremonies at the Old Lahaina Luau Makahiki Festival. Keiki and families also participate in opportunities provided by various Native Hawaiian organizations.

Parents of Punana Leo Preschool programs also participate in hui kipaepae weekly language and culture classes, la ‘ohana family days and other activities to reinforce learning ‘olelo Hawai’i at home. Punana Leo o Maui parents recently formed Na Leo Pulama o Maui, a nonprofit group to work toward establishing a Punana Leo and family language resource facility in Wailuku.

“As a Punana Leo Maui graduate, I can say without question that this papahana (program) has formed my kahua (foundation) and identity. However, now that I am a makua (parent) of a student, I fully understand the breadth and depth of what Punana Leo offers: a place where entire families learn and grow in the ‘ike ku’una Hawai’i (traditional Hawaiian knowledge) of our kupuna (elders),” said Kaimanam?lie Lee Brummel.

Enrollment is now available for Punana Leo preschools for the upcoming 2019-20 school year starting Aug. 5, 2019, through June 19, 2020. For more information about Punana Leo preschools, or to apply, visit www.ahapunanaleo.org. The enrollment deadline is Apr. 15, 2019.