ASSOCIATION OF HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUBS
NO. 2020 – 34
SUPPORTING THE PROPOSED 2021 BILL TO UPLIFT ʻAHA PŪNANA LEO’S VOICE ON THE EARLY LEARNING BOARD
WHEREAS, in 1983, ʻAha Pūnana Leo was established to help revive ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi throughout Hawaiʻi, and two years later the first ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi medium preschool started in Kekaha, Kauaʻi followed by 11 more sites currently in operation across the islands; and
WHEREAS, although ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi has been one of the state’s official languages for over 40 years since 1978, ʻAha Pūnana Leo remains the only statewide early learning system conducted entirely in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi immersion for our pre-kindergarten keiki; and
WHEREAS, the Early Learning Board directs the executive office on early learning and provides recommendations to meet the developmental and educational needs of Hawaiʻi’s pre-kindergarten keiki, while also promoting collaboration across keiki-serving stakeholders; and
WHEREAS, as the sole entity representing ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi early learning opportunities across Hawaiʻi, ʻAha Pūnana Leo has identified its need for better representation on the state’s early learning board; and
WHEREAS, ʻAha Pūnana Leo has experienced issues with sustaining its historically-filled position on the Early Learning Board due to term limits that inhibit the organization’s representatives from accruing and maintaining the necessary institutional knowledge and continuous presence to ensure understanding and recognition of the important role of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi education for Hawaiʻi’s growing keiki; and
WHEREAS, currently the chief executive officer of Kamehameha Schools and the executive director of the Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools enjoy expressly “invited” positions on the Early Learning Board with no term limits; and
WHEREAS, ʻAha Pūnana Leo, as the sole statewide entity dedicated to advancing ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi medium early education, deserves this same “invited” member status to ensure its continued presence on the early learning board, and fulfill its overarching goal to perpetuate and normalize ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi for future generations to come.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 61st Annual Convention held online, in the mālama of Makali‘i and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu, this 22nd day of November 2020, supporting the proposed 2021 bill to uplift ʻAha Pūnana Leo’s voice on the Early Learning Board; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to Chair of the Early Learning Board, Chair of the State Senate subject matter committee on Education, Chairs of the State House subject matter committees on Judiciary and Education, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors.
The undersigned herby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Makaliʻi and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu on the 22nd day of November 2020, at the 61st Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs held online.
Hailama V.K.K. Farden, President