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Community invited to celebrate Waimea Middle School’s ‘Journey of Learning’ on May 22

Waimea Middle School invites the community to celebrate student accomplishments free evening event, “Journey of Learning,” at 6 p.m., on Wednesday, May 22 at Kahilu Town Hall. Doors will open at 5:15 p.m. for cocoa, coffee, sandwiches and cookies. The community is encouraged to arrive early to enjoy refreshments and walk across to Kahilu Theatre for a quick viewing of a very special exhibit which features art by students and family members of WMS and most other Waimea schools.

The “Journey of Learning” program will begin in Kahilu Town Hall at 6 p.m. with select students from sixth through eighth grade presenting original poems. Kealoha, a keiki o ka ‘aina, will emcee this portion of the program. Kealoha is known for his captivating poetry performances and has performed at the White House and at Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s Inauguration where he earned the title of “Hawaii’s Poet Laureate.

Kealoha hasn’t always been a poet. In fact, it was only after graduating from MIT with honors in nuclear physics that he discovered his real passion was performance poetry, and since then, he spends most of his time helping students create and share their own stories, using poetry as a vehicle of self expression. Kealoha was invited to WMS for a third year by Language Arts teacher and department head Leesa Robertson.Kealoha has visited WMS 6th, 7th and 8th grade Language Arts classes several times this year for poetry workshops, and his contagious energy and passion have inspired and supported WMS students as they created their own poems.

After WMS students share their stories through performance poetry, Waimea’s own PWO Navigator, Chadd Paishon, will talk story about the school’s year-long voyaging theme. Paishon, who is captain of Na Kalai Wa’a’s Makali’i voyaging canoe, will tie student “Journey of Learning” lessons and experiences this school year to ongoing planning for the worldwide voyage of the Hokule’a. WMS teachers have integrated a voyaging theme across the curriculum to include many cultural and hands-on-learning experiences for students. Paishon and fellow members of Na Kalai Wa’a have worked with students at most Waimea schools as well as community members throughout the year to involve all of Waimea in the coming historic voyage.

For information, call Pua Case at 938-5550, or Patti Cook at 937-2833 or visit