This initiative began in 2007, and in between the 2012-2013 to 2014-2015 school year a series of place-based curricula and classroom and field programs were developed through a grant from the US Dept. of Education-Native Hawaiian Education Act (No. S362A120007-12A). The purpose of this grant is to build on experiential education opportunities that have been developed, and carry the program on with various partners and sponsors. The program is designed to ensure that quality culture programs continue on Lāna‘i, and by expanding those programs to offer opportunities for organizations and individuals from other islands to engage in knowledge exchanges and mentoring opportunities with established professionals who demonstrate high levels of skills in documenting, promoting, creating, restoring and maintaining cultural heritage resources.
One of the major initiatives of the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center is a place-based educational program titled, “E ‘Ike Hou iā Lana‘i - Embracing Lāna‘i’s History Through Language and Literacy.” The program engages the community and school in a collaborative effort to improve literacy and academic outcomes. The objectives of the community-school partnership of Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center and the Lāna‘i High and Elementary School include, but are not limited to:
(1) Development and utilization of a place-based and cultural curricula to improve academic outcomes for LHES students, using the living classroom (the natural, cultural and historic environments) of our small, isolated island as the starting point for engaging students in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and the wide range of subjects offered in the K-12 school. This approach to education involves students, teachers, families and subject matter experts in an education that connects youth to their community, and opens the doors to a universe of educational opportunities.
(2) Enhance early childhood and young adult literacy through the combined study of the Hawaiian and English languages, cultural and natural history, and outreach programs.
The program includes a wide range of rich cultural-historical and natural resource initiatives accompanied by workbooks and workshops offered to students and adults. Samples of these materials are found by following the links below.
We are currently engaged in development of grants to help align these curricula resources with the common core standards that teachers use to measure student proficiency in K-12 learning environment.