The purpose of the Ka Paʻalana preschool program is to prepare keiki for school success. Children receive an intensive, developmentally-appropriate and culturally-relevant education through preschool teachers and assistants.
Ka Pa’alana focuses its outreach on homeless families or those that are transitioning out of temporary housing – like the Hope Shelter in Kapolei – as well as at Hawaiian Homelands in Wai‘anae and Waimānalo.
“The graduation is a symbol [for the families] of accomplishment and of a future for their kids,” said Terry Nakamura, Ka Paʻalana’s Program Manager. He explains how Ka Paʻalana tries to plant a seed in the minds of the keiki and caregivers that they can go on and complete high school, and go to college.
These efforts are not only for the keiki, but also for the adults.
Nati has been coming to Ka Paʻalana for almost two years, starting at the Kakaʻako site with Family Education Coordinator Cheri Richards and Home Visiting Specialist Denise Mazepa before transitioning to the Hope Shelter on Oʻahu’s Leeward Coast. She calls Ka Paʻalana a “big blessing.”
“It’s a big opportunity to learn and explore new things… I’ve learned a lot of life lessons, parenting lessons, and just being a teacher to my son.”
She goes on to explain how the graduation means a lot to the parents, about both the achievements of their keiki and their own personal goals as parents.
Hoʻomaikaʻi to all the graduating keiki and their families! We wish them all the best for their future success in school, and send them our warmest aloha for being a part of the Ka Paʻalana ʻohana.