East Hawaii News

DOE Honors February as Hawaiian Language Month

February 11, 2016, 3:46 PM HST
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Department of Education photo.

Department of Education photo.

The Hawai’i State Department of Education is celebrating February as Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, or Hawaiian Language Month.

DOE officials encourage schools across the state to join in the celebration. Hawaiian Language Month was first officially designated in 2013.

Hawaiian language immersion programs available at public schools are also sought to be recognized during the month, including accomplishments ranging from the growth and expansion of kaiapuni (immersion) schools to a globally recognized indigenous language and culture revitalization program.

“Currently, 2,600 students are learning through the medium of the Hawaiian language, and thousands of others are being exposed to the language and culture through a variety of classes, programs, and events at our public schools,” said DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We thank our partners who have worked with us in the effort to prioritize and support Hawaiian language education.”

Ka Papahana Kaiapuni, a Hawaiian Language immersion initiative which comprises of 15 public Kaiapuni schools and six public charter schools from the Big Island to Kaua’i, is offered by the DOE to kindergartners through the twelfth grade.

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Several public high schools offer Hawaiian language programs to fulfill high school graduation requirements, and these language course credits are accepted at numerous universities and colleges as a world language prerequisite.

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To learn more about the Office of Hawaiian Education’s HLIP and to find a Hawaiian language immersion program in your community, visit the DOE website.

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