The Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation and the Henry & Dorothy Castle Memorial Fund has awarded the ?Aha P?nana Leo Hawaiian language nest preschools a $25,000 grant for their teacher training needs. The grant will be used for staff training at Semi-Annual H?l?wai Nu?ukia—a component to the only early childhood education and professional development training conducted entirely through Hawaiian.
These teacher trainings enhance P?nana Leo’s quality and impact in the classroom, ensuring the highest level of education for their students. Working together with Ka Haka ?Ula O Ke?elik?lani college of Hawaiian Language, ?Aha P?nana Leo has provided 62 P?nana Leo teachers with college level credits through 6 Hawaiian medium Early Childhood Education courses and 9 Hawaiian language courses.
The ?Aha P?nana Leo’s Human Resource Director, K?haulani Shintani, is thrilled by the news, “The Castle Foundation has supported the ?Aha P?nana Leo teacher development in the past and we are very appreciative of their repeated support. This grant will enable us to continue to fund essential teacher professional development that maintains the high level of quality for our statewide program.”
The keiki who attend P?nana Leo schools are shown to have Hawaiian language fluency within three to four months of preschool entry and reading fluency as early as age 4. These keiki consistently demonstrate the positive impact of the P?nana Leo teacher’s preparedness on their learning in an enriching Hawaiian medium environment.
?Aha P?nana Leo operates 11 preschools on five islands, two infant and toddler programs, and works in partnership with four charter Hawaiian medium K-12 sites on four islands. ?Aha P?nana Leo is also the first early education program conducted through an endangered and indigenous language to be accredited by World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) and is a member of a consortium of internationally recognized schools, organizations and university programs in Hawai?i dedicated to reestablishing Hawaiian as the first and main language of the home.
For more information, please visit AhaPunanaLeo.org.