Aka, with, care, and hai, to speak. To be tender of heart; meek (Andrews)

Did you know that up until 1986, a mere 37 years ago, it was illegal to speak or teach ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi in school? In 1896, three years after the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, the new government decreed that all of Hawaiʻi’s public schools were to be English-only. This ban nearly caused the Hawaiian language to become extinct. Fortunately, there were a few who bravely resisted and did all that they could to preserve Hawaiian culture. One of these heroes is being celebrated today with the release of a US quarter with her image

Edith Kanakaʻole was born during a time when practicing Hawaiian traditions and culture were oppressed. Many Native Hawaiians felt stigmatized by the pressure to become “Americanized,” so they chose not to pass on the ʻike of their kupuna to their keiki. However, Kanakaʻole was not deterred. She continued to study ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, hula, oli, and mele. In 1953, carrying forth the teachings of her kupuna, Kanakaʻole opened a hālau hula. Rather than teach hapa haole styles or just how to dance, her hālau stood out by teaching both dance and oli, requiring dancers to learn the language. 

As her prominence bloomed, Kanakaʻole played even greater roles in promoting the preservation of the Hawaiian culture. During the 1970s, she was instrumental in establishing a Hawaiian Language program at Keaukaha Elementary School as well as implementing the Hawaiian Studies Kupuna Program (for which Kumu Hanohano is our Hawaiian Studies Kupuna). Kanakaʻole also taught at Hawaiʻi Community College and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo where she created courses in ethnobotany, Hawaiian chants and myths, genealogy, Polynesian history, and land ownership.

By the time of her passing in 1979, Kanakaʻole performed a key role in ushering in the Hawaiian Renaissance. Her efforts ensured the Hawaiian culture would continue to thrive well into the future. She resisted oppression and discrimination, but not by shedding blood or taking up arms. Edith Kanakaʻole resisted by spreading grace; by teaching others, sharing her ʻike, showing kindness, and inspiring others to act. She resisted by being akahai.


  • Make someone or someplace better by
    • Showing kindness – even when frustrated or upset;
    • Teaching someone a skill or piece of knowledge; or
    • Making someplace more beautiful.


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: Edith Kanakaʻole kumu aʻo “Ohana & Laulima”  by Kokua Films Hawaiʻi where she shares the moʻolelo of ʻohana. Then with you child, answer the following:

IDENTITY: As Edith Kanakaʻole explains the importance of kalo to the Hawaiian people, she identifies other foods important to people of different cultures. What food item is important to your ʻohana?

SKILLS: What do you think was Kanakaʻole’s purpose in telling the story behind the word ʻohana?

INTELLECT: Kanakaʻole shares the moʻolelo of Hāloa and calls him the “progenitor” of the Hawaiian people. What does “progenitor” mean?

CRITICALITY: One of the ways Kanakaʻole resisted the oppression of Hawaiian culture was to share moʻolelo like in this video. Your challenge for this week is to be like Edith Kanakaʻole and share a story with someone that creates more love and less hate.

JOY: How does Kanakaʻole share the joy of laulima in her story?


Wed, Mar 29, 20234:30 PM School Community Council Meeting 
Sat, Apr 1, 2023Campus Beautification – Sign up to help by Wednesday, 12:00pm. 
Sat, Apr 22, 2023Rainbow Keiki Run (details forthcoming)





Also – a very moving and beautiful video about the power of hula by Kaumakaiwa Kanakaʻole, great granddaughter of Edith Kanakaʻole



Patience; patient, enduring, long suffering; to tolerate. Lit., great breath.  (Pukui-Elbert)

To be patient, gentle, kind; forbearance (Andrews)

If I were to ask you to picture in your mind the first woman to become a self-made millionaire, what would she look like? Would you picture a woman from the early 1900s? Would you picture a woman of African heritage born to former slaves? Madam C. J. Walker became a millionaire through a combination of intelligence, perseverance, inventiveness, and ahonui.

Born into poverty, losing her mother at 7, married at 14, and widowed as a single-mother at 16, it would have been easy to underestimate Madam C. J. Walker. However, Walker worked diligently and attended night school, patiently contributing to her eventual success. After developing a scalp disorder that caused her to lose much of her hair, Madam Walker experimented with different home remedies and store-bought hair care treatments. She persevered and eventually invented her own hair care product which she marketed to African American women. Through enduring patience, Madam Walker’s company grew and employed hundreds, uplifting the black community. She became a philanthropist, funding scholarships, charities for the elderly, and contributing to the establishment of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). 

It must be remembered that Madam Walker achieved all of her wealth when very few women owned businesses and independently held power, let alone anyone who was non-white. Madam Walker even encountered resistance from within the black community. While attending the National Negro Business League, an event orchestrated by Booker T. Washington, Walker was shunned from speaking despite other male cosmetics entrepreneurs being given the stage. Through their lauding, Walker showed great forbearance. Recognizing her moment to act, on the last day of the conference, Walker, addressed Washington. She said, “Surely, you are not going to shut the door in my face. I feel that I am in business that is a credit to the womanhood of our race.” The following year, Washington featured Walker as a conference speaker.

Given her humble beginnings, some might attribute Madam Walker’s success to luck. Yet, that diminishes her dedication to educating herself, the hard work she put in, her entrepreneurial skills, her inventiveness, and strength of character. Madam Walker recognized the opportunities that laid before her, even if the rewards would not be immediately reaped. She showed more than patience. She showed forbearance. This is, as Aunty Pilahi Paki taught Pono Shim, is to be ahonui.

To show AHONUI

  • Take a deep and cleansing breath – aho;
  • Observe what’s around you and ask yourself:
    • Is this the right time to act? Or would it be better to wait?


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: HEADSTRONG: Madam C.J. Walker by PBS. Then with you child, answer the following:

IDENTITY: If you could start a business, what would it sell or provide to the public?

SKILLS: How might have Madam Walker used the engineering design process to become a successful business owner? 

INTELLECT: What is an entrepreneur? How does one pursue this career?

CRITICALITY: Madam Walker was a philanthropist using her wealth and power to fight against discrimination while helping others become educated and lift themselves out of poverty. Who in our community does similar philanthropic work?

JOY: Your challenge for this week is to bring joy to yourself by showing ahonui and accomplishing something using patience and perseverance.


A huge thank you goes out to Tammy Shigezawa, Misty Taniguchi, Dee Fujinaka and all of our Color Fun Run organizing committee along with our volunteers and to all those who contributed to it’s success. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience, bouncing through the inflatables, squirting water at our administrators, dodging obstacles, and running through a cloud of colors launched by our volunteers. Further, with your support, we raised over $40,000 to upgrade our cafeteria stage and sound system. Mahalo nui loa to all that generously support our school. 


Wed, Mar 29, 20234:30 PM School Community Council Meeting 
Sat, Apr 1, 20238:30am – 11:30am Campus Beautification






Redup. of haʻa; low, lowly, minimum, humble, degraded, meek, unpretentious, modest, unassuming, unobtrusive; lowness, humility.  (Pukui-Elbert)

Christian pastor Rick Warren once wrote, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; It’s thinking of yourself less.” Unknowingly, Pastor Warren described what Aunty Pilahi Paki described as behaving haʻahaʻa. Uncle Pono Shim said that to be haʻahaʻa, we are so humble that we empty ourselves of our ego. In that way, we can truly listen without judgement and be there for others. 

Diminishing our ego, even for short periods of time, can be a very difficult practice. Yet, when we think in terms of how we are connected with others and how these connections contribute to who we are, it’s easier to be humble. Dr. Mae Jamison, the subject of this week’s read aloud, was once asked how she became so confident and intrinsically driven as a child. She decisively attributed her strength of character to her parents. “I think it comes from choosing your parents well! I think parents have an incredible impact on their kids.” As a pioneering astronaut, medical doctor, engineer, and dancer, Dr. Jemison shared how her parents encouraged her to talk about controversial topics including those about women, let alone those of color, breaking into the fields of engineering and astrophysics. “They didn’t always agree with me,” she says. “The difference was I was allowed to have those conversations. I was allowed to argue my case.” In other words, her parents practiced being haʻahaʻa. They listened to Dr. Jemison and did not dismiss her thoughts. Instead, they encouraged her to act upon her dreams.

Throughout her career, Dr. Jemison overcame obstacles of racial discrimination and hate to achieve numerous accomplishments including becoming the first woman of color to travel in space. While talented and smart, Dr. Jemison attributes success to thinking big and putting in the hard work, values taught by her parents through their humble support.

“Never be limited by other people’s imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”

Dr. Mae Jemison

To be HAʻAHAʻA, 

  • Take a deep and cleansing breath;
  • As you exhale, imagine emptying yourself of your ego;
  • Listen without thinking about yourself;
  • Share something back encouraging that shows you heard what was shared with you.


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed, illustrations by Stasia Burrington. Then with you child, answer the following:

IDENTITY: In this story, both of Mae’s parents are haʻahaʻa as they listened fully and then encouraged Mae in pursuing her dreams. Share a story of how someone you looked up to were haʻahaʻa with you.

SKILLS: This story is based on a true story. What genre of literature would this fall into? What details from the story might support your claim?

INTELLECT: In 1992, the Mae in the story grew up to become Dr. Mae Jamison and became the first African American woman to travel in space. Research some of the women who paved the way for Dr. Jamison including those who worked at NASA and served as astronauts.

CRITICALITY: The discrimination Mae faced in becoming an astronaut was hinted at in the story. In real life, as one of the few African American students in her engineering classes, Dr. Jemison faced racial discrimination by her professors. Yet, she persevered in part driven by her parents being haʻahaʻa and unflaggingly supporting her dreams. How might you be haʻahaʻa and support someone to overcome great obstacles?

JOY: Your challenge for this week is to spread joy by being haʻahaʻa, listening to someone and encouraging them like Mae’s parents.


March is Women’s History Month

Fri, Mar 10, 2023Color Run!
Fri, Mar 10, 2023School Quality Survey deadline
Sat, Apr 1, 2023Campus Beautification (Details Forthcoming)