From A Fading Fire,
A Shining Star Is Born
In the early 1980's, a group of parents,
educators, Hawaiians and Hawaiians-at-heart came together to address a collective concern
- the fading of a beautiful culture due, primarily, to the rapidly shrinking number of
native speakers. For history has proved that when a language is lost, the culture itself
The group identified immersion preschool education
as an effective-and quick-way to build a new generation of fluent native speakers. Through
them, the culture would not only survive, but flourish in the modern world.
The first Punana Leo Hawaiian language immersion
preschool was established on Kaua'i in 1984. Punana Leo O Honolulu and Punana Leo O Hilo
were opened in 1986. And then came Punana Leo O Maui in November 1987. Today, there are
also Punana Leo preschools on Moloka'i, in Kona, Waimea, Wai'anae, Ko'olau Loa and
Kawaiaha'o. And indigenous cultures around the world now look to Hawai'i as a shining
example of a successful immersion program.
We Are Proud Of
Punana Leo O Maui
With the continued support of Wailuku Baptist Church, from whom we have leased our High Street facility since the beginning,
we have graduated almost 200 fluent Hawaiian speakers. Many of these youngsters have gone
on to the State of Hawai'i Department of Education's Hawaiian language immersion program,
Kula Kaiapuni O Maui, at Pa'ia School (K-5), Kalama Intermediate School (Grades 6-8), and
King Kekaulike High School. We believe that many of these children are future community
We Need A Home
Of Our Own
After four years of hard work, we received
approval in March 1997 from the County of Maui for a 55-year, one-dollar-a-year lease on a
1.68 acre parcel of land in Central Maui. As happy and excited as we are, we know it is
just the beginning of a lot more hard work. We now need to raise $2 million for the
construction of a new school and Family Language Resource Center on
To this end, parents, alumni, and supportive
community members have formed Na Leo Pulama, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation.
Each year we hold fundraisers to make this vision a reality. Our two major fundraisers
this year are Ho'omau and Fashion Show.