WAIMEA VALLEY’S HOʻOKĪKOʻO PROGRAM WRAPS WITH RECORD NUMBER OF ELEMENTARY STUDENTS VISITING THIS SCHOOL YEAR

WAIMEA VALLEY’S HOʻOKĪKOʻO PROGRAM WRAPS WITH RECORD
NUMBER OF ELEMENTARY STUDENTS VISITING THIS SCHOOL YEAR


The Hawaiian culture focused field trips are free thanks to grant support
Haleʻiwa, Hawaiʻi (February 21, 2017) – Over 800 students will have visited Waimea
Valley this school year due to a grant supported program called Hoʻokīkoʻo (to reach
out/extend, like one’s hands). The program was designed to reach students in low-income
public elementary schools across Oʻahu to participate in a free educational field trip to
the Valley.
The elementary schools participating in the program in the current school year are Fern,
Hau‘ula, Waipahu, Leihoku, Kaʻala, Haleʻiwa, August Ahrens, Kalihi-Waena, and
Benjamin Parker. The targeted grade level is 4th grade because of the Hawaiian studies
focus introduced at that level. Occasional exceptions have been made to include 3rd, 5th
and 6th graders in the program as well.
During their visit, students participate in the “Ahupuaʻa – Mountains to the Sea” program
where they learn about the ahupua‘a (a land division that usually extends from the
mountains to the sea), its subdivisions, and the daily responsibilities of the people living
there. Afterwards, students split into two groups and rotate between hands-on activities
that teach about the different parts of a ko‘i (adze) and how to identify plants that were
used in ancient Hawaiian culture to perform tasks like thatching and food gathering.
The Ho‘okīko‘o program was established in 2010 by the cultural education staff at
Waimea Valley. Although initially funded solely by the Valley, the nonprofit was able to
secure grant support from the Friends of Hawaii Charities for the 2016-2017 school year
and aim to reapply for next school year.