Lei-Making Workshops Coming To West Side Elementary Schools

Lei-making seems like an obvious activity for elementary school teachers to do with their kids … until you think about it a little.

Between lesson planning, grading tests, parent conferences — what elementary school teacher has time to gather enough plants for 25 or so lei?

Happily, a Kapolei nonprofit is making the cultural, artistic, and motor-skills benefits of lei-making available to more west side kids.

Lei-Making With Local Experts And Local Materials

Ulu Aʻe Learning Center, led by Mikiʻala Lidstone, is holding lei workshops at west side elementary schools this fall.

The workshops will be available for one week sessions at elementary schools in Kapolei. They will be held after school, and last approximately 1.5 hours per day. Students will learn a different lei skill each day. The workshops will be open to all students, but are targeted at 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.

Lidstone gathers many of the materials for the lei from plants grown at Puʻuokapolei, the cultural heritage site adjacent to Kapolei Regional Park. She planted many of these herself, or supervised volunteers who did so at the monthly Lā Mālama events at Puʻuokapolei.

Funding from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools helps to pay for materials that can’t be obtained free from the ʻāina.

The unofficial launch for the program was held at Mehana Snack & Surf, the small eatery/grocery/equipment rental spot inside the Mehana development. The shop is a big supporter of Hawaiian cultural events, and happens to be walking distance from Hoʻokele Elementary School.

Students quietly and patiently built lei lau niu, with Lidstone standing by to help. The full program lasted a little over an hour.

How To Sign Keiki Up For Lei-Making

Future lei-making workshops will be held after school at west side elementary schools. Keep an eye out for an announcement from your child’s school. You can also check the Ulu Aʻe Learning Center website, their Facebook page, or IG.

We’ll also update this space as the schedule is available.