Tūtū and Me keiki from Hawaiʻi Island’s Waimea and Honokaʻa sites celebrated their end of the year accomplishments with an in-person Lā ʻOhana (family day)! Graduating keiki were honored with kīhei, printed with kupukupu ferns, one from Waimea and one from Honokaʻa, to signify growth and wish them well on their next chapter: Kindergarten.
Kuputo Sprout, grow, germinate, increase
Shortly after keiki joined in mele and dance, they broke into stations set with fun activities ready to kickstart the summer fun. The Tūtū and Me Hawaiʻi North team felt it was important to bring their community lāhui together in a safe manner while providing ʻohana with networking opportunities.
Present were four PIDF programs: Pili A Paʻa, Tūtū and Me ʻOhana Support, Project Pilina, and Hoʻopalekana Ola. Also present was Hāmākua Health, who distributed keiki-friendly first aid kits, the Community Police officers Waimea Station, County of Hawaii Police Department, and Mahina Mea, who graciously shared all kinds of ʻono freeze dried candies for the keiki and their ʻohana to take home and enjoy.
“As an extension of our gratitude, we honored our kūpuna, mākua and keiki for their perseverance through the pandemic,” said Yonette Nakamura, Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool Site Manager – Hawaiʻi North. “Being a virtual team since April 2020, it is our intention to acknowledge accomplishments and to also offer encouragement as we continue to journey through life as we have come to know. Together we are stronger!”
Pili A Paʻa, the PIDF educational project based out of the Kohala School Complex, set up an outdoor obstacle course, with challenges for all preschool-aged keiki. Caregivers supported their little ones in balancing while other keiki jumped over posts. The Tūtū and Me haumāna chased their laughter throughout the course and circled round over and over again, until they could fine-tune their gymnastics.
Tūtū and Me ʻOhana Support, the PIDF Home Visiting and Parent Hui services, engaged keiki in kai (ocean) themed activities. Keiki and their caregivers water painted a local fish, uhu. The keiki also went fishing! In a small pool filled with toy sea life, caregivers helped their keiki fish out plastics and trash to help mālama i ke kai, take care of the ocean.
Project Pilina, PIDF’s Foster Care program, handed out wooden unicorn keychains for the keiki to color in. ʻOhana came by and talked story with West Hawaiʻi Community Liaison, Chelsea, to learn more about the many ways they can support keiki in foster care. Project Pilina hopes to strengthen household units, both birth and hānai alike, through family-friendly activities.
Hoʻopalekana Ola, PIDF’s newest project to strengthen rural and remote island communities to navigate the new norm, handed out over 300 at-home Covid-19 test kits. The team equipped multi-generational ʻohana with the tools needed to stay safe and healthy this summer in case someone in the household is exposed to or becomes Covid positive.
After 25 years of serving Hawaiʻi’s families and living Hawaiian values, PIDF is proud to call on the support of our fellow programs, as well as our community organizations. Many memories were made and laughter shared— hoʻomaikaʻi to our graduating class of 2022!