Pacific American-News Journal
Iulai-July 1996 Volume 2 Issue 7
Education and inspiration are the tools
at Na Pua No`eau
Na Pua No`eau has expanded. This summer, with support from the
Office Hawaiian Affairs, the program for gifted and talented
Hawaiian children is on O`ahu, Kaua`i, Maui as well as the Big
Island. The summer program began June 16 and included 180
students from across the state.
Na Pua No`eau originally only offered summer programs at the
University of Hawai`i at Hilo. In 1993, the program expanded due
to request from parents to have the program offered year round
and throughout the islands. OHA assisted by supplying funding for
Programs are structured to include Hawaiian children who
otherwise might not be represented in gifted education.
"In most gifted and talented programs, you've got to be
high in academic, verbal and mathematical areas. It doesn't
necessarily pan out that way for our kids," Na Pua No`eau
Director David Sing explains.
"One of the things we did was not to say who's gifted and
who's not, but rather to be more inclusive," says Sing.
"We've steered away from the traditional terminology of
gifted and talented found in the United States. That way is very
exclusive, you're in or you're out."
With Na Pua No`eau, children are evaluated on their interest
in a certain field and how much they know about that area.
The program gives children a vision of what is possible and
brings out their passion in an area. "For kids who really
succeed, the factors that are important are not related to
ability so much as to incentive and interest," Sing says.
Whatever a student's interest may be, Na Pua No`eau can
connect them to the "educational pipeline," The program
utilizes information through the University of Hawai`i's higher
learning institutes as well as supportive Hawaiian organizations
and Mainland organizations like American Indian Research and
Development, Inc. The children get the latest and most advanced
information in the areas of astronomy, aquaculture, volcanology,
art and more.
Na Pua No`eau is meant to help students move through the
transition of high school to college and even into a career. The
program is still young and only a few of the early participants
have graduated from high school.
One former Na Pua No`eau student is a freshman at UH Hilo in
pre-med. Sing says her experience in Na Pua No`eau allowed her to
extensive research in the area of medicine. By volunteering for
medical workshops in Na Pua No`eau she was also able to meet
professionals in the medical field, establishing important
contacts for future study.
Na Pua No`eau's expansion will allow 2,000 children across the
state to participate in its activities every year. "The more
they get involved that will help them towards higher
aspirations," Sing says.
For more information about Na Pua No`eau call 808-933-3578,
for information about OHA's education program call 808-594-1888.
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Copyright © 1996 Hale Pai Pacific American-News Journal
Last modified: February 28, 1998
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