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Kids Get Hands-On Experience of Culture, Science & Nature

November 17, 2012

Children from West Hawaii Explorations Academy take turns blowing the conch shell, announcing the beginning of the 2012 Children’s Cultural Festival at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. (Used by permission John Wicart).

Whew! Many of our park rangers and volunteers are spending this weekend recuperating from a fun-filled, action-packed week. For the past couple of days, several hundred school children descended upon the usually serene shoreline of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park for the 8th Annual Children’s Cultural Festival. This event gives students (mostly 4th graders) unique opportunities to engage in various aspects of traditional Hawaiian culture and scientific exploration in a picturesque outdoor setting.

A Team Effort:

This major endeavor involved many local volunteers who gave of their time and talents before and during the festival. As well, the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association provided staff and funding support for this event. Over the past year, park staff spent countless hours preparing for this major educational event. During the event, the park received assistance from staff and volunteers from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, the Pacific Island Network, and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

The following photos of this event were taken by Big Island resident John Wicart and are used with his permission.

Students sit in a hale (hut) to learn special hula (dance) and mele (song) about taking care of the environment. (John Wicart; used by permission)

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail park ranger Ida Hanohano leads a group of students past tide pools. (John Wicart; used by permission)

A volunteer talks to the children about the cultural significance of ‘Ohe Kapala (Bamboo stamps). (John Wicart; used by permission)

Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site park ranger Greg Cunningham teaches children about the cultural and ecological importance of sharks in Hawaii. (John Wicart; used by permission)

Children learning Ulana lauhala (lauhala weaving). (John Wicart; used by permission)

A serene beach? Not today! (John Wicart; used by permission)

Hawaii Pacific Parks Association cultural demonstrator Charlie Grace shows how Hawaiians traditionally used Luehe’e (octopus lure) and other implements. (John Wicart; used by permission)

Students learn about protecting coral reefs. (John Wicart; used by permission)

Fred Keakaokalani Cachola of Makani Hou o Kaloko-Honokohau shares with children about traditional Hawaiian values. (Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

Volunteer Kalani Nakoa teaches kids about traditional canoes and their importance to Hawaiian culture. (Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park park ranger Charles Hua teaches a child Ho’olau o hukilau (net making). (Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

Pacific Island Network Inventory and Monitoring Program Science Communications Coordinator Cory Nash shares about responsible fishing practices. (Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

Justin Viezbicke of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA) educates about the critically endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal. (Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

Park staff take a moment to catch their breath…(Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

Learning about the ‘Alemanaka o Mahina (traditional Hawaiian moon calendar). (Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

Exploring one of the important natural features of the park…anchialine pools. (Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

Kumu (teacher) Kamuela Himalaya instructs children in the art of Hula Noho (seated hula). (Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

Teaching children about the importance of the Makahiki Season, a traditional time on the Hawaiian calendar of games, feasting and celebration. (Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

The conch shell was blown every 20 minutes, indicating a time to rotate to a new station and a new experience! (Photo by John Wicart; used by permission)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Desiree permalink
    November 17, 2012 1:40 pm

    This wonderful – with guidance the new generations make will the right decisions to save the world -

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