Research indicates that children learn, connect, and retain knowledge more effectively when learning materials are culturally meaningful and relevant to their lives and experiences. Ke Kumu ‘Āina (the source of sustenance) provides middle and high school students with opportunities to engage deeply with ‘āina: the food, water, and places that give us life.
ʻĀina-based education can increase rigor, deepen relationships, enhance relevance, and produce meaningful learning experiences for students.
Knowing our ʻāina intimately is not only meaningful, it is also a necessity. Students explore our place as kānaka (people) in our environment. Staff create curriculum and plan ʻāina-based experiences emphasizing environmental and cultural literacy in the 21st century.
Ke Kumu ʻĀina offers a variety of student programs year-round, including:
Ke Kumu ʻĀina gives middle and high school students opportunities to learn more about Hawaiʻi Island’s native plants during the one-week fall and spring intersessions. Participants engage in scientific field research, learn to identify native plants, and explore the environments in which they grow. Based out of Waimea, students enjoy hands-on workshops and field trips from uka to kai including Kohala Mountain, Mauna Kea, Waipiʻo Valley, and Kīholo Fishpond.
Ke Kumu ʻĀina Afterschool Programs are offered during second semesters in several communities in Kohala and Hāmākua including Ulu Lāʻau – Waimea Nature Park (Waimea), Kohala Middle School (Kohala), and Mālama ʻĀina Koholālele (Paʻauilo). Each program gives middle school students hands-on opportunities to learn about Hawaiʻi Island’s native plants. Participants learn to identify these plants and their cultural uses, understand the environments in which they grow, and engage in scientific field research.
Current Afterschool Programs – Spring 2017
- Ke Kumu ʻĀina Afterschool Program at Ulu Lāʻau – Waimea Nature Park, Waimea
Wednesdays, 1:30 to 5 p.m.
In partnership with Waimea Outdoor Circle and Kanu o Ka ʻĀina Learning ʻOhana
- Mālama ʻĀina Koholālele After School Leadership Program, Paʻauilo
Mondays, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
In partnership with Hui Mālama i ke Ala ʻŪlili and Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School
- Ke Kumu ʻĀina Afterschool Program at Kohala Middle School, Kohala
Tuesdays, 2:30 to 5 p.m.
In partnership with Kohala Middle School (UpLINK, Healthy Living Mentorship)
Other Program Services
- ʻĀina-Based Education Support for Teachers – We collaborate with teachers interested in standards-based ʻāina education and offer support with ʻāina-engagement (field) trips, classroom presentations, and continuing education programs.
- Leadership Program – We employ high school students interested in ʻāina-based education as Youth Leaders for our student programs. As a part of the position, students develop leadership capacity, supporting teaching staff with program logistics and even leading mini-workshop for middle school students.
- Student Mentorship – We support students with ʻāina-based school projects, serving as project mentors and/or resources.
Interested in more information or getting involved? Please contact our ʻāina-based education specialist, Mahina Patterson, by email at email@example.com or phone at 808-887-6411.