Categorized | Education

Community invited to experience Waimea student lessons


It promises to be an inspiring glimpse of the life and paahana (hard, industrious work) of “treasures in our own backyard on Hawaiian homestead farms and ranches” as Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School (WMPCCS) family members and community friends come together for a series of free after-school classes on four consecutive Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 11.

Led by Kuulei Keakealani and WMPCCS’ Ike Hawaii Resource Teacher Pua Case, participants will first visit a successful Hawaiian Homes flower farm and floral business operated by the Berdon family 3:45 – 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11.

Participants are asked to meet at the WMPCCS office parking lot no later than 3:45 p.m. to caravan to the site of the week’s classes where they will meet and hear from community “living treasures,” and in the process, experience the same lessons the school’s students are studying to fulfill Social Studies’ Spatial Geography standards and benchmarks.

“Many Olelo Noeau [Hawaiian proverbs] speak to the fact that children behave like, or have knowledge that their parents possess. It is heard too in expressions such as: ‘no surprise her lei are so beautiful, her mother and grandmother are known lei makers too,” or “he has a good hand to train a horse, he’s just like Walter [his teacher],” Keakealani said.

One Olelo Noeau in particular says: “Ka ike a ka makua, he hei na ke keiki,” which means the knowledge of the parent is [unconsciously] absorbed by the child.

“But it is becoming more difficult to find individuals who are following in the footsteps of elder generations and maintaining a legacy. Also, paahana today has evolved and doesn’t only refer to working on and with the land and its elements. It can now be seen in the hours it took to create a web page, or studying into the early morning hours for a dreaded chemistry test, or even the recounting of a firefighter following his four-day shift,” Keakealani said.

“In this short series of Ike Hawaii classes, we will hear from individuals who have made the choice to continue in the work of elders who have preceded them. They will share lifestyles connected to Waimea and the Hawaiian homesteads that were developed by kupuna and that they have committed to continuing into the future,” she said.

There is no charge to participate and no RSVP required but participants are asked to arrive on time because the group will be caravanning each week to an off-site location.

Participants should wear comfortable closed shoes and bring a jacket for weather protection.

“This series of classes is the fourth time Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School has welcomed family members and community friends to experience culture- and place-based lessons presented by respected cultural practitioners,” Pua said. “The lessons are the same as those that our students experience. We are excited to be able to share the innovative strategies our teachers and staff have developed to integrate important lessons about paahana and cultural values with core curriculum.”

For information, email Pua Case ( or call Patti Cook at 937-2833.

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