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Punana Leo Preschool Enrollment Open

Punana Leo News Release

Since implementing strict health and safety protocols at its preschool campuses statewide last summer, ‘Aha Punana Leo (‘APL) keiki (children) and kumu (teachers) have been able to return to the classroom, and continue to engage and thrive in safe learning honua (environments) with-out incidents of COVID-19 at any of its sites.

“With the support of our Ke‘ena Kamali‘i, Hui Makua Punana Leo o Molokai, and the County of Maui Early Childhood Resource Office, we’ve been able to provide our keiki and staff, a safe and clean learning/working environment,” said U‘i Ramos, Punana Leo o Molokai site director. “It is important to implement these protocols because our keiki need to be in kula [school] so that they can have some kind of normalcy by socializing and learning with their peers. We welcome anyone interested in immersing their keiki and ‘ohana in ‘olelo Hawaii and culture to join us for the upcoming 2021-22 preschool year.”

By keeping its site safe, Punana Leo o Molokai is able to operate at full capacity and continue to accommodate up to 24 keiki for the upcoming 2021-22 school year, which will start on Aug. 2, 2021 and run through June 17, 2022. Open enrollment is now available for keiki ages two years and eight months old up to six years old. The early enrollment deadline is March 1, 2021.

“Our ‘ohana feel that Punana Leo provides such an amazing experience for our keiki to enhance the knowledge based upon our Hawaiian culture and values,” said Punana Leo o Molokai makua Melani Rawlins-Domingo. “As our keiki learn ‘olelo Hawaii at kula, they help our ‘ohana at home learn the language as well.”

In line with the and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) Guidelines for Child Care Facilities, ‘APL has taken rigorous steps to sanitize and keep all of its preschool sites clean. Face masks, physical distancing and hand washing for keiki and kumu are also strictly enforced throughout the day, and visitors including makua (parents) are no longer allowed inside the facilities. All in-person events, including field trips and participation in parades and fundraisers have also been canceled. While hui kipaepae (weekly language and cultural classes for parents) has transitioned online, participation continues to remain high, at 80 percent.

For ‘ohana interested in introducing their young keiki to ‘olelo Hawaii, ‘APL is offering its Aukukui Hikaaʻo ʻOhana self-directed online learning program for preschool-aged keiki. ‘APL developed fun and interactive games, videos, worksheets and other resources to help keiki and their ‘ohana learn and practice ‘olelo Hawaii at home. The one-year subscription, available to the public, in-cludes unlimited access to 12 modules and activities for $100. For more information about Punana Leo Preschools, its newest Aukukui Hikaaʻo ʻOhana distancing learning, and other pro-grams, visit ahapunanaleo.org.

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