Welina mai kakau
Ms. Haunani Seward, Director of the Ke Kula Ni'ihau O KeKaha Learning Center
Welina mai kakou—Warm greetings to All,
As the Hookele or Navigator of the smallest charter school in the State of Hawaii it is my responsibility to guide the school towards learning opportunities that have lifelong learning implications for our native Hawaiian students. Our association with the University of St. Thomas over the last 12 years has indeed been an exceptional learning opportunity for our students and hopefully for your students and staff alike.
Your students open up the “outside world” to our students. In past years they’ve learned about fables, snow, writing and speaking standard English from your world. We’ve taught you about humpback whales, singing snails, the endangered native duck, and the poignant story of a Hawaiian family devastated by leprosy, among other stories.
The Niihau community is the last enclave of native speakers of the Niihau dialect of standard Hawaiian in the world. We are preparing our 40 students to become the future speakers of this unique language. The University of St. Thomas students are helping us provide a rich and diverse learning opportunity for our students. In turn Ke Kula O’Kekeha opens our doors to your students and staff that no other university or organization is privy to.
With your consideration we wish to continue this learning exchange long into the future.
Me ke aloha pumehana—With warm regards,
Haunani Seward, Director
Ke Kula Nihau O KeKaha Learning Center