Gov. Green signs first proclamation in Hawaiian to ‘Aha Pūnana Leo
Governor Josh Green M.D. signed his first proclamation in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i on Feb. 15, recognizing ‘Aha Pūnana Leo for its efforts to revitalize and normalize Hawaiian as one of the State of Hawai‘i’s official languages.
The Governor proclaimed ‘Aha Pūnana Leo Week and February as Mahina ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Language Month) with remarks by ‘Aha Pūnana Leo Board President Kauanoe Kamanā and mele by the ‘Aha Pūnana Leo board of directors, kumu (teachers), mākua (parents), and haumāna (students).
“I invite the people of Hawai‘i to join me in raising awareness about Hawaiian language revitalization and supporting initiatives toward renormalizing a thriving Hawaiian language in all aspects of our society,” proclaimed Governor Green.
Since ‘Aha Pūnana Leo started 40 years ago in 1983, its founders and board of directors have demonstrated a vision of “E Ola Ka ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i” (the Hawaiian language shall live on) to lay a foundation for school systems and communities to carry out their everyday life in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.
“We do our best to remember that ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi is still in a fragile state,” said ‘Aha Pūnana Leo CEO Ka‘iulani Laehā in a news release. “And although we’ve had tremendous progress over the past forty years, we really want to ensure that we’re caring for the language in the same way we started. Mahalo nui to Governor Green and his wife for making sure that ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i is at the forefront of what we’re doing,” said Laehā.
From its first classroom in Kekaha, Kaua‘i to now, ‘APL offers 13 preschool sites on five islands and has provided valuable early childhood education and experiences to create a foundation for life for more than 7,000 students and alumni. Through the school’s world-class language nests, ‘APL has provided a strong foundation for learners to pursue higher levels of education and to become leaders in their communities.
“Here we are returning our language into our school system as the medium of instruction and education from kindergarten to high school and beyond into the college system,” said ‘Aha Pūnana Leo founding board member Larry Kimura.