For the first time, elected student representatives from the Hawaiian-focused charter schools are coming together this week to create an islands-wide council.
From Tuesday to Saturday, the students are staying at Aunty Nani Svendsen’s place above Keokea Beach Park in Niulii in North Kohala, as they collaborate on interscholastic activities and prioritize issues that their schools and communities face.
This is the first of two camps, the second of which will be held on Oahu Jan. 15-19, concurrent with the opening of the legislative session.
The council is funded by a grant from the Hawaii Peoples Fund, a grassroots organization based in Honolulu that supports social justice initiatives.
The project is led by three young men in the movement for indigenous education: Trevor Atkins, teacher at Halau Ku Mana PCS in Honolulu; Kanoa Castro, teacher at Kanu o ka Aina PCS in Waimea; and Laakea Caravahlo of Kohala, founder of Knowledge in Motion.
“We are growing the social capacity of this generation to communicate across islands, to think bigger and more creative than we have,” said Atkins, “because we are leaving to them a Hawaii whose natural and cultural resources are threatened.”
The following schools are represented at this inaugural meeting: Ke Kula Niihau o Kekaha PCS and KANAKA PCS from Kauai; Halau Ku Mana, Halau Lokahi, Hakipuu, and Kamakau from Oahu; and Kanu o ka Aina, Waimea Middle School, and Ka Umeke Kaeo from Hawaii Island.
For more information, call Atkins at 234-4541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.