In preparation for the upcoming World Oceans Day gathering in New York, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and apprentice navigator Jenna Ishii this morning met with students and educators who presented messages of Mālama Honua, which she will take to Nainoa Thompson on June 8.
About 50 students, educators and parents gathered at the Marine Education Training Center (METC) for the message presentation, which came in the form of poems, artwork, letters, oli (chant), and mele (song).
"Three years ago we started the educational journey of Mālama Honua throughout Hawai'i schools," said Superintendent Matayoshi. "Many of our teachers, students and school communities are incorporating the values of Mālama Honua in classroom lessons such as science, technology, and art. Today we see that students are now the teachers in committing to the lessons of caring for our oceans, Island Earth, and each other. I'm inspired by the messages of today and honored to share them with Nainoa who will be addressing the United Nations."
Taking time out of their summer break to attend today's event included students from Kamehameha Schools, Farrington High, Kamaile Academy, Pū'ōhala Elementary and Lunalilo Elementary.
"We took to heart the message of Mālama Honua at Farrington High School and had the opportunity to embrace and learn about it through numerous projects like water testing at Mokauea Island," said AJ Alcover, a 2016 graduate from Farrington High School. "It was exciting to be able to share what we accomplished knowing that it will reach the Hōkūle'a crew in New York."
"The world is 70 percent ocean and we need to take care of it – we're all connected," commented 10-year-old Anya Brucal of Lunalilo Elementary. "If we pollute one area of the ocean, it affects another area."
Attendees also toured Hawai'iloa, a double-hulled canoe built in the early 1990s using traditional Hawaiian methods.
In 2013, Superintendent Matayoshi, along with other educational leaders from public and private sectors, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) titled "Promise to Children," which signified the support of the Polynesian Voyaging Society's Worldwide Voyage from the education community. The MOU emphasized that the lessons about Mālama Honua will be passed along to students in hopes of inspiring them to explore, discover and learn about the Island Earth.
The theme of this year's World Oceans Day, hosted by the United Nations, is "Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet." To learn more, visit www.worldoceansday.org.