Learning Hui

Contact: Melanie Sumida 808 733-4883

What is a Learning Hui?
A Learning Hui is an informal, flexible, organized way parents and other family members can volunteer to directly improve their child’s education. Under the direction of the classroom teacher, parents and teacher create ways to support and enrich classroom learning. The Learning Hui brings families together in friendship (like play groups and sports team families) with a common interest in helping their children’s education.What is the purpose of the Learning Hui?
Create an inviting, welcome environment for parents to get involved in ways that directly improve their children’s education.
Inspire our children to enjoy lifelong learning by seeing parents as role models involved in their education inside and outside the school.
Create a network of parent resources to help teachers and Learning Hui projects throughout Wai‘alae School.
Support parents as their child’s “First Teacher” by providing parent education and training programs.

How is this done?
Each classroom teacher will invite his/her parents to an organizational meeting to meet other parents of their “Classroom Ohana (Family).” At this meeting, parents and teachers will discuss how families (parents or other family members) can volunteer time within or outside of class, plan activities related to study units and see what resources, talents, and skills parents can share to support the class.

The teacher will select a Learning Hui Coordinator who will serve as the “Room Parent” and primary liaison between the teacher and families in the class. This Coordinator will also serve as classroom representative at the school-wide Learning Hui Committee meetings. At these meetings, Learning Hui Coordinators will share ideas, resources, and suggestions for parent education and training programs.

Some grades may organize a grade-level hui, rather than an individual classroom hui. The beauty of each hui is its flexible design to benefit the collective needs and talents of the teacher, parents, and students.

How much time will this require?
It is our goal to have each family volunteer at least 20 hours each school year. Families can contribute their share of time by doing things at home, within the classroom, at work, in the evening, and during weekends. Attendance at classroom Hui and school-wide meetings along with school events also “counts” toward your volunteer time. If you volunteer time is limited, perhaps you have connections to community resources that could be used within the classroom such as guest speakers, field trips, and project supplies.

Why was the Learning Hui program created?
Research shows that parent involvement directly increases student learning, improves children’s self-esteem and increases their motivation to succeed.

Funds for public schools are being cut more each year but the true wealth of our Charter School is the commitment we have as families and teachers to help our children succeed. As resources dwindle, parents can make a difference by contributing their own talents, professional skills, and community connections to needed resources.

In November 1996, a Wai‘alae School Board task force was formed to look at ways to increase parent participation. After nine months of planning meetings involving parents, teachers, and school administrators, the Learning Hui pilot project was launched in September 1997.

The Learning Hui Project was an overwhelming success by networking 841 teachers, parents, students, and community members in 23 classrooms. Over 4,000 parent volunteer hours were contributed to more than 125 classroom and grade-wide projects. No other school in the State provides this type of opportunity for parents to get involved within their child’s classroom. Several public and private schools have voiced interest in using this program as a model for parent involvement in their schools.