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Teaching Assistant Stacie DeSilva welcomes new keiki and their families to the new Kapālama Preschool on the first day of school.

Newest Nā Kula Kamali'i site is blessed and open to students

Oct. 27, 2016

Contributed by Elizabeth Ahana

Kamehameha Schools’ Nā Kula Kamaliʻi (Preschools) welcomed a new site to its preschool program. Kapālama Preschool is located at 1867 Kaikunāne Loop, in the ahupuaʻa of Kapālama, just below the K-12 campus. It recently received its official blessing, with classes officially beginning on October 19.

KS Kapālama Kahu Kordell Kekoa offered a blessing with prayer and words of aloha at the gathering of preschool administrators, staff, kumu and invited guests. Using traditional lei maile to commemorate the opening of this new site, Kahu blessed the grounds, common areas and the four classrooms.

“The blessing of the Kapālama Preschool was very meaningful as we completed our preparations to open our doors to keiki and their ʻohana,” says Terry Kelly, poʻo kula for Nā Kula Kamaliʻi.

“We serve some of the youngest of Pauahi’s benefactors and are excited to welcome these new keiki into our Nā Kula Kamaliʻi ʻohana.”

Invited guests included Executive Vice President for Education Dr. Holoua Stender and Darrell Hoke, executive vice president of the Nāpoukaha Administration Group. The program included oli and mele performed by Nā Kula Kamaliʻi staff, a welcoming message from Kelly, and Senior Project Manager Kaipo Hale provided ʻike on the name “Kapālama” and its meaning.

“Being in the ahupuaʻa of Kapālama and on KS lands – even within hearing distance of the haumāna on the Kapālama campus – we felt our bond deepen and strengthen in fulfilling Pauahi’s vision,” added Kelly.  

Kamehameha preschools, in partnership with families, help keiki achieve their highest potential by providing a setting for formal learning – classrooms, staff, materials, equipment, facilities and other students – and by facilitating active, meaningful learning experiences. KS’ investment in early education also includes funding for keiki to attend other private preschools through Pauahi Keiki Scholars as well as collaborations with early education programs and services throughout the state. 

The new preschool site serves families from Pearl City to Hawaiʻi Kai and will be home to 80 keiki, between the ages of three and four and 12 kumu and teaching assistants.

The newest KS preschool is located at the former KCCA Laura Morgan Preschool site at the foot of KS’ Kapālama campus.

Nā Kula Kamaliʻi Poʻo Kula Terry Kelly, Executive VP for Education Holoua Stender and Kahu Kordell Kekoa enjoy a moment during the blessing of the Kapālama Preschool.

Kapālama Preschool kumu and teaching assistants. Front row (L to R): Kumu Kaleena Aoki, Teaching Assistant Sallie Yoza, Teaching Assistant Ranee Cofran, Kumu Renae Holt, Teaching Assistant Raelen Bajet, Teaching Assistant Stacie DeSilva. Back row: Teaching Assistant Kanoe Serrano, Teaching Assistant Cassie Datulayta, Kumu Leilani Pao, Teaching Assistant Kawau’i Perez, Kumu Stacey Imamura.

Kumu Leilani Pao introduces the keiki to circle time during their first day.

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