Kamehameha Schools to offer summer Exploration Series

Students in grades 5 through 8 are eligible to apply for Kamehameha Schools’ 2013 Explorations Series programs. Applications for the series’ three summer programs (Ho’omaka’ika’i, Ho’olauna and Kulia I Ka Pono) are available starting today.

The Explorations Series invites students to participate in a weeklong experience designed to build foundations of Hawaiian cultural knowledge, connectedness and responsibility through place-based programs. Since 1968, Explorations has connected students to their Hawaiian culture and traditions through the guiding concept of “Ma ka hana ka ‘ike” (in doing, there is knowledge). The program has a rich history, spanning 45 years and more than 50,000 participants since its inception. Today, Explorations has evolved into a series of three weeklong summer boarding programs, each targeted at specific grade levels.

Students may enter the Explorations Series at any of the three programs and will be matriculated from program to program along the series track. Each program’s description, along with the applicable dates, are included below:

* Ho’omaka’ika’i (six one-week sessions, June 9 July 19). Ho’omaka’ika’i introduces students to foundational Hawaiian values and practices through a study of ahupua’a. Through work in a lo’i, fishpond restoration, canoe paddling, mele, hula and more, students learn about interdependence in the ahupua’a and how it sustains the Hawaiian people. Students entering grade 6 in the fall of 2013 are eligible to apply.

* Ho’olauna (six one-week sessions, June 2 July 12). Ho’olauna immerses students in learning experiences designed to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between honua (earth) and kanaka (people). Students engage in hands-on cultural practices, visit wahi pana (significant places) and work with various community members and kupuna within specific moku (districts). Ho’olauna is a boarding program which takes place at nine sites statewide.

Students are encouraged to attend their first Ho’olauna session in their home community, and then may attend additional sessions, if available, up to two per summer. Students entering grades 7 and 8 in the fall of 2013 are eligible to apply.

* Kulia I Ka Pono (six one-week sessions, June 2 July 12). Kulia I Ka Pono reinforces the importance of one’s cultural identity and sense of belonging to the Hawaiian community. As emerging leaders, Kulia students are challenged to recognize and build upon their personal strengths as they examine traditional and modern leadership qualities and hone their skills in kalo farming or sailing and navigation. Students can choose from four sites, each with specific projects: Puna, East Hawaii (Week 2 is Hawaiian immersion conducted primarily in ‘olelo Hawaii); Kona; Hana; and Koolauloa, Oahu.

Students entering grade 9 in the fall of 2013 are eligible to apply.

Families are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible to have the best chance of securing their preference of program dates and locations. The programs are open to all grade-level eligible students from across the state and Mainland who are not currently enrolled at a Kamehameha Schools’ K-12 campus program. The deadline to submit an application is Feb. 28.

After participating in an Explorations Series program, students will be invited to take advantage of the Ipukukui program, which takes place during the Department of Education’s two intercession breaks in the fall and spring. Ipukukui is a regional program which builds upon the Explorations Series experiences, and focuses on the rich resources within each student’s home district.

For additional program details, including a full list of program descriptions, dates and session fees/fee waivers, visit or call (808) 534-8272 or toll free at (800) 842-4682. Kamehameha Schools’ policy on admissions is to give preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law. Applications can be picked up at campus admissions offices or Kamehameha Schools Resource Centers, downloaded via the KS admissions website at or call (808) 842-8800 to request an application be mailed.