On January 19, 2018, ʻEleu’s Native Hawaiian Early Childhood Consortium Conference took place. ‘Eleu is a collective of five early childhood education agencies: ‘Aha Pūnana Leo, ALU LIKE, Inc., Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE), Keiki O Ka ‘Āina Family Learning Centers (KOKA), and Partners In Development Foundation (PIDF). ‘Eleu believes by advocating together with one voice, they can ensure that the children and communities of Hawaiʻi will continue to flourish. This conference was a chance for INPEACE, KOKA, and PIDF to gather together to share their knowledge of Native Hawaiian curriculum. Each organization had their own manaʻo (thoughts) and ʻike (knowledge) to various topics like cultural practices and traditions, advocacy, literacy, and STEAM. Although these organizations compete on many levels for funding, resources, and space, these organizations have a stronger unifying purpose: to serve Hawaiʻi’s keiki and families for success.
Nā Pono No Nā ʻOhana Outreach Coordinator, Laʻanui Johnston, found much ʻike she could bring back to her teammates to implement with families. One session in particular was the Early Childhood Education Activities around Ahupuaʻa, presented by the Hilo Keiki Steps Staff. The workshop effectively shows sustainability by using supplies gathered from the land and sea. “In this modern time, we can use what we have available in our environment -bringing the past into our present- and using what we learn to sustain our families and communities toward the future,” says La‘anui.
Ka Paʻalana Program Manager, Jin Chang, felt that the conference was worth the hardwork put into coordinating, planning, and last minute changes. “The conference was more than a day organized into one-hour sessions; it was a picture of the work that we are doing together so that our children, our families, and our communities will have a chance to thrive,” says Jin.
A special mahalo to W.K. Kellogg Foundation for their support!
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer. Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive. WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work, and life. The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success.