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Keiki with Culture

An annual celebration of Hawaiian culture and language drew hundreds of attendees last Saturday. Punana Leo O Molokai Hawaiian language preschool held its fundraiser Ho`omau event at Lanikeha Community Center in Ho`olehua, which also serves as the school’s campus. In addition to entertainment and musical performances by Molokai’s immersion programs from preschool to high school, crowds of supporters also browsed a variety of booths. Local food vendors, crafters and organizations showcased a wealth of community diversity.

But they day was really about `Olelo Hawaii and supporting the youth who speak it. Uilani Ramos, Punana Leo site coordinator, said it’s important to learn the language young.

“At this age [preschool], they’re like sponges,” she said. “They’re able to communicate already and through them, we hope to carry on the language.”

For the first time this year, the event was also featured Math Day, hosted by Molokai High School’s math department, along with Aka`ula School and UH Manoa. Attendees participated in a variety of creative, hands-on activities to explore mathematical concepts. Ramos said Math Day “brought a different crowd” this year, a trend ho`omaui organizers hope to foster.


Keiki of Punana Leo. Photo courtesy Kuulei Arce.


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