Teaching That Works Beyond the Classroom

Canoe ClubIokepa Nae`ole proudly traces his family’s ancestry back to the time of King Kamehameha’s infancy, on the Big Island. Teaching comes naturally to Nae`ole and the vocation has always run in his family. Many know Nae`ole as a canoe paddling coach; he has been an integral part of the statewide success of the Kahului-based Hawaiian Canoe Club and helped guide King Kekaulike High School to a State paddling championship in 2004. He is also an active environmentalist, cultural advocate, and mentor.

Young BirdersNae`ole’s latest project is the Hawaii Outdoor Experience, a pilot educational initiative funded by the State Office of Youth Services and administered through Neighborhood Place of Wailuku. The program provides up to 80 teenagers with after-school and weekend activities, and “campovers”; parents are invited to go through the program too. Ropes courses offer team building, personal development, trust and leadership skills. Canoe paddling provides a healthy outlet and a metaphor for community life. To function successfully, a canoe crew needs to move in the same direction, contribute to the team while focusing on their specific task, and place trust in the steersman. Long-distance runs and canoe excursions are planned for some weekends.

“We need to educate our young people about traditional values, stewardship, and community life,” says Nae`ole. “The cultural element of the HOE curriculum is about connectedness, developing kinship with the land and ocean. My philosophy revolves around the 3 “E”’s: Experience, exposing youth to real world situations and to the natural world, away from electronics, the mall, and other superficial, material things; Education, especially on environmental and cultural issues; and Empowerment – letting young people know they can to something about their world, whether it’s taking personal action, writing to a County or State official, or attending an event.

“Prevention is an important aspect of the program,” adds Nae`ole. “The young people get so involved and feel so good about their activities, maintaining a positive outlook, they don’t waste their time or have opportunities to get into trouble.”

Share this post:

, , ,

One Response to Teaching That Works Beyond the Classroom

  1. Leslie M. Perez September 1, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    Greetings! My name is Leslie Perez, student of Mennonite Academy in San Juan, PR. My marine biology teacher showed us the documentary about “Message in the Waves” and we were impressed to know that our island was not the only one that is going through an ecological situation as you are. As part of our class we will be contributing in the International Coastal Clean Up Day on September 17. 2011. We would like to interact with you and your students via a video conference about our concerns of marine environments and what are you doing in Hawaii to teach people how to protect and conserve these valuable eco systems. We’d love to hear from you soon!

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes