Kauluwela Elementary students

Students in the College of Education (COE) School for Teacher Education (STE) Multilingual Learning and Elementary Education Program participated in a one-day service learning event at Kauluwela Elementary School on February 7, 2024.

The event centered on college and career exploration and included arts and craft activities that honed in on the fifth-grade students’ cultures and home lives. Fourteen COE candidates in Cohort 407 participated in the event. They began with Oli Lei by Kumu Kuʻualohanui Kauliʻa, then broke into centers to facilitate activities to 84 fifth graders who rotated classrooms.

Kauluwela classroom“This project supports fifth graders by exposing them to college and careers early so they may navigate life after high school to begin goal-setting for their futures,” said Jessica Ladera, a fifth-grade teacher and Grade Level Chair at Kauluwela.

Ladera, who is also a COE student in the Multilingual, Multicultural Professional Practice Graduate Certificate program, conceptualized these service learning events at her school where she has taught for seven years. Kauluwela provides field experience placements for seven teacher candidates in Cohort 407. Mentor teachers participate in collaborative teacher inquiries with teacher candidates that center on improving Pacific Islanders’ academic experiences.

Kauluwela Elementary School is a Title 1 school in the Kalihi-Liliha area that serves a high population of multilingual Pacific Islanders. Principal Sonja Samsonas has partnered with the COE for almost a decade.

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