Note: Hale Pai is no longer being published. These archives of passed issues will remain available as long as there is interest. - Courtesy of San Jose Web

 

Hale Pai
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 the expansion.

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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