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Our mission is to support the preschool " to provide a Hawaiian language environment that nurtures young keiki (children) and their families in Hawaiian culture, values and protocol while preparing keiki for entry into Kindergarten via developmentally appropriate experiences."
Background of Punana Leo Preschools
Pūnana Leo preschools Language Nests are family-based educational centers. Family members take an active role in the educational experience of their children. Parents and family members attend a weekly Hawaiian language class. If not already enrolled in a Hawaiian language class, parents agree to take classes at their local Pūnana Leo.
Parents are encouraged to learn the language so that they can reinforce their children's education and nurture a high cognitive advantage in their children by helping them to become bilingual. 'Aha Pūnana Leo also offers online language class for parents who are unable to attend classes in their communities.
Families are required to provide 8 hours of in-kind service per month to their Pūnana Leo. Parents attend a monthly Hālāwai Makua (parents and families) meeting, where they take an active role in activities of the school. Families become part of the Hawaiian speaking community, working towards the common goal of reestablishing Hawaiian as a living language.
Parents along with the Pūnana Leo raise a new generation of responsible, aware citizens who are grounded in the foundation of Hawaiian language and culture. Our children become the generation that is able to connect traditional knowledge with contemporary technology.
This non-profit organization supports the school's mission with fundraising, financial and organizational support to carry out its mission. With a decline in revenues to the preschool, the preschool needs this support to fund the necessities, supplies, and activities that school funding doesn't provide. This organization is similar to a Booster Club for a sports team or school band, that provide additional support and funding (new uniforms, travel) for the benefit of the members (team players, band members) that the main organization cannot afford to provide.
Our organization subsidizes expenses for the children as 60% of the children that attend this school receive tuition assistance, 75% qualify for free and reduced meals, and 25% live on Hawaiian Homestead lands. In addition, our teachers only make $10 per hour and are making a sacrifice to teach here and we don't expect them to pay for children and classroom supplies out of their own pockets.
We hope in the near future, we will be able to fundraise, and apply for and receive grants to purchase outdoor playground equipment, purchase air conditioning for the classroom, funds for teacher development, and purchase additional learning supplies for the classroom.
- Ettajane Danner
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