Eō – Answering the Call for Tomorrow’s Leaders

For over 25 years INPEACE has focused on Early Childhood Education and Educational Leadership. Upon reflection on our successes and the desire to ensure a continuum of growth for our keiki, we expanded our scope to focus on leadership skill building for our ‘opio generation (ages 8-12). Eō, a pilot program funded by the federal Native Hawaiian Education Program, started in January 2022 with keiki in the 4th grade and will expand to grade 6 by year 3. Partnering with the City and County of Honolulu’s Parks and Recreation the program offered afterschool programming at the Wai‘anae District Park.

Eō established a thriving learning environment through culture- and place-based learning that engages
youth in the discovery of self, cultural identity, and connection to place. Building on our Kupu Ola curriculum and experience, the program operates on the premise that the haumāna’s connection to culture, community, and ‘ohana can be instrumental to their success in both school and community life, eventually helping them to become the leaders we need in our community. Students learn about Hawaiian culture, values, and practices, implemented daily through kilo (observation), piko (daily protocol), ʻōlelo (language), mele (music), ʻoli (chant), and mālama ʻāina (taking care of the land). Through learning units, students explore themselves, their ʻohana and their community, which includes interviewing ʻohana, learning the moʻolelo and origins of traditional place names of their community,
and learning about their own traditional names and their origins. They are provided opportunity to interact with kūpuna and cultural practitioners who share practices like moʻolelo (stories), hana noʻeau (art), mele (song) and hula (dance). Participating haumāna are also invited to attend Eōʻs 2-week summer leadership day-camp. The summer program prepares 1st year students to return in year 2 as alaka‘i (leaders), serving as peer mentors and taking on various leadership roles through the Fall and
Spring semester.

“It was good to see my child learning leadership through culture, I never learned this”.

This year, we had a total of 22 keiki in our program and over 130 engaged parents, kupuna, and community members who attended different activities including lā ‘ohana, hō‘ike, and huaka‘i. Haumana shared their learnings through presentations at the year end hō‘ike. Parents engaged in dialogue with students about leadership and kuleana during gallery walks. Overall, the curriculum and program was enjoyed by all who attended and one parent stated, “It was good to see my child learning leadership through culture, I never learned this”.

Eō will be housed on the Wai‘anae Elementary School Campus for the 2022-2023 school year. Program
will run Monday-Thursday, 2:30-5:30pm, starting in September of 2022. We are seeking to hire two Program Kako‘o (Assistants). If you are a Junior or Senior in high school and are interested in a after school part time job, please feel free to visit our website at www.inpeace.org for more information.