Bringing Educators Aboard the WWV
WWV Education Open House, May 3
On May 3, at METC on Sand Island, PVS hosted an Education Open House with its WWV educational supporters Kamaile Academy (Public Charter School, Wai‘anae), Bishop Museum, STEMworks, Pacific Islands Climate Education Partnership (PCEP), ‘Ai Pono (Healthy Food for Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia Crews), UH Mānoa College of Education’s Kūlia I Ka Nuʻu, and Propagate Peace, a school peace gardens project of University Laboratory School (Public Charter School, O’ahu) in partnership with the International School Peace Gardens.
At the Open House, Robert Witt, Executive Director of Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, also introduced the Mālama Honua Learning Center (MHLC), a new public charter school scheduled to open in Fall 2014 on Oʻahu.
A partnership between the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Hawaiian Education Council, MHLC is committed to helping learners of all ages develop the “mind of the navigator,” a mindset that integrates contemporary and ancient academic skills, as well as the essential values of caring, courage, and integrity that are crucial for helping today’s young people chart a successful course through life. MHLC will help educators and other leaders cultivate new skills in themselves and their students – new ways of learning and doing that will help to shift global society in new and positive directions. Mālama Honua Learning Center will not only serve as PVS’s educational headquarters during the WWV and all future journeys, but will ensure that the voyage’s values and impact are sustained and nourished in perpetuity.
After the presentations, charter school leaders from across the state were invited on a special sail on Hōkūle‘a. Nainoa Thompson captained Hōkūle‘a, joined by teacher crew members from a number of charter schools who are training for the upcoming voyage.
During the late afternoon sail, Nainoa and Robert discussed the crucial role of charter schools in shaping and reforming education in Hawai‘i, as well as the place of Mālama Honua Learning Center in that process. Nainoa also spoke to the charter school leaders about the need to bring education leadership together, with Hōkūle‘a and the Worldwide Voyage acting as a metaphor and catalyst to rethink education for a sustainable future.
Support from the University of Hawai‘i System, May 13
On May 13, at the invitation President of the University of Hawaii System MRC Greenwood, Nainoa Thompson addressed UH educators, challenging them to join PVS to develop a sail plan to transform Hawai’i into a laboratory and model for cultural, environmental, and community sustainability, guided by kindness and caring; and to educate Hawai’i’s youth to carry out this sail plan. (See “UH partners with Polynesian Voyaging Society,” News UH System, May 14 2013).
This vision for Hawai’i grew from the influences of Nainoa’s teachers, including PVS founder Herb Kawainui Kāne (1928-2011); Satawalese master navigator Pius Mau Piailug (1932-2010); big-wave surfer, lifeguard, and crew member Eddie Aikau (1946-1978); Nainoa’s father and community leader Myron Bennett “Pinky” Thompson (1924-2001); and NASA astronaut Charles Lacy Veach (1944-1995). Nainoa and Lacy met once year on the slopes of Mauna Kea, under the stars, to share their hopes and dreams for their beloved Hawai’i, including inspiring its youth to explore, learn about, and care for their special island home.