Talking Story with Kumu Maile

Community Contributed

By Olivia Riel

As Kumu Maile Naehu and I waited patiently for families to arrive for our talk story session on Dec. 6, she shared an abundance of information about herself and the literary program she works with under Kamehameha School for Kilohana Elementary.  As she softly spoke I found her story to be quite enlightening and wanted to share some of it.

Maile was born in the Ewa Beach area and spent the majority of her early life travelling between Oahu and Maui.  Her warm and gentle spirit is truly a reflection of the family values she was brought up with.  Such a blessing for the students, staff and families of Kilohana School!

When asked what brought her to Molokai four years ago, she said, “My husband Hano!”  When he proposed to her on Christmas Eve, she knew he would never leave Molokai, the island that he loves.  But soon Maile and her two children moved to Molokai to build dreams of their own.

Prior to coming to Kilohana School, Kumu Maile worked at Punana Leo in Lahaina and later with the Hawaiian Immersion classes at Princess Nahiena`ena, also located in Lahaina.  Later, when arriving on Molokai she continued in the Hawaiian Immersion program at Kualapu`u School as both a substitute teacher and second grade teacher. 

She eventually got a job with Kamehameha School under the Literacy Instruction Support (LIS) program, where she has been working for the past three years. At one time the LIS team was servicing only the students of Kualapu`u School, but has now expanded its services to both Kaunakakai and Kilohana schools. 

Besides writing up and submitting lesson plans to her department head, she also services various grade levels, focusing on the progressive steps that will lead to writing fluently and independently.  For example, many of the third grade students began this writing process when they were in kindergarten.  She is proud to say that she has seen significant improvement in many of the students writing process.  This is clearly evident in the many writing pieces that they have completed so far.  She looks forward to seeing the same progression with the kindergarten, first grade and second grade students that we now have.

Mahalo nui loa Kumu Maile for your commitment to Kilohana School and the writing process!


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