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Early learning conference aims to broaden horizons of kumu to benefit of haumāna

Jan. 30, 2020

Contributed by Crystal Kua

To create opportunities for early learning educators and members of the community to access ongoing professional development, the Puakalehua Early Learning Consortium is hosting a conference next month on Hawai‘i Island open to teachers, caregivers, and anyone who cares for preschool-aged keiki.

Themed “Mālama Kekahi I Kekahi” or “Take Care of One Another,” the first Puakalehua Consortium Early Learning Conference will be held on Feb. 22 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Kauhale ʻŌiwi o Puʻukapu (Kanu o ka ‘Āina), 64-1043 Hi‘iaka Street, in Waimea.

“Early learning provides keiki and their families with a solid foundation for lifelong learning,” said Kaimana Barcarse, West Hawai‘i Regional Director for Kamehameha Schools, which is a member of the consortium. “The Puakalehua Consortium Early Learning Conference creates a pathway for kumu to broaden their horizons through networking with other early education professionals, learning new skills and enhancing their classroom approaches for the benefit of haumāna.”

Cost to register is $50 and the deadline to register is Feb. 15.  Early learning professionals can earn six credit hours toward state Department of Human Services Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge or ASK Core Standards. Early learning professionals must earn 15 hours per year to comply with state standards. Registration includes the keynote address, three workshop sessions and lunch. To register, visit

Workshop topics will include “The Brain Architecture Game: Why Early Childhood is Important,” “Aloha ʻĀina, Aloha Mauna in the Early Childhood Curriculum,” “Social and Emotional Development from Infancy and Beyond,” “Be Nice! Creating a Calm Learning Environment with Mindfulness and Kindness,” “Ethnobotany; Hawaiian Plants Education” and “Power Tools for Brain Builders.”  

The Keynote Address will be given by educator Malani Papa DeAguiar on “How to Overcome Obstacles in Your Life by Creating Goals, Prayer, Finding A Hero, and Striving for Success.” DeAguiar has been an educator for 35 years with the Department of Education, University of Hawaiʻi at West Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy, and Kamehameha Schools, teaching Hawaiian Language, culture, and coordinating activities with the community.

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