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Haleakalā National Park is recruiting Hawaiian language teachers to create a new distance learning curriculum

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The Nature Conservancy
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Haleakalā National Park is recruiting Hawaiian language teachers to create a new distance learning curriculum in the Native Hawaiian language, or ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.

The initiative aims to fill the shortage of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi curriculum for Hawaiian immersion students while also strengthening the park’s connection to the surrounding community.

Maui native Honeygirl Duman has worked at Haleakalā National Park for over a decade. As the interpretation and education specialist, she’s hosted thousands of students every year.

But Duman says she could never accommodate Hawaiian immersion, or kula kaiapuni, students.

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University of Hawaiʻi News
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Interpretation and Education Specialist Honeygirl Duman at Haleakalā National Park

"There were times where a kula kaiapuni teacher would reach out to me and ask if there were any programs that could be done in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and unfortunately there was none. Such an important piece of what the National Park Service does is protecting and preserving history, culture, and language. And so for me, it made all the sense to offer programs in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi," Duman said.

Duman secured a grant from the National Park Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids Program to hire two Hawaiian immersion school teachers and a digital media intern to create new distance learning programs for the park in ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi.

Duman says the grant helps pay for these positions through the rest of this school year, but she hopes to expand the use of the Hawaiian language within the park. She hopes this helps to strengthen the connection local students, or haumāna, have to Haleakalā.

"I want people to know that Haleakalā National Park is not just a place for tourists. It is a place for the kamaʻāina. It is a place for haumāna to learn about the resources, the plants, the animals, the stories, and they can actually be even more connected to this ʻāina — that it’s theirs. And hopefully, they can be the next generation to be that steward over these lands," she said.

Those interested in applying should have teaching experience at Hawaiian Immersion schools, be familiar with current curriculum standards, and have knowledge of virtual teaching methods. Applications are due Nov. 1 with a tentative start date of Jan. 1.

For more information about applying to any of the positions, click here.

Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Her commitment to her Native Hawaiian community and her fluency in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi has led her to build a de facto ʻōiwi beat at the news station. Send your story ideas to her at khiraishi@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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