For the past four years, due to our strong partnership with LbE Japan, we have been blessed with the opportunity of welcoming hundreds of schools and thousands of students from Japan to Hawaiʻi. We have hosted programs both on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi island.
We designed our programs to accommodate the learning levels, language capability, and culture of our Japanese learners with focus in social sustainability, English immersion/practice, intercultural communication, leadership, career preparation, and global competency.
Since 2019, we have introduced our full sustainability-themed programs to small number of local students coming from schools including: Kalani High School, Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy (from the Big Island), SEEQS, ʻAiea High School, Punahou Schools, and Waipahu High School. In these programs, the local students were able to collaborate with Japanese student participants as well as our program leaders.
While we found this collaboration as a great cross-cultural experience for Japanese and local student participants, it was difficult to align schedule availability of local students with our programs since most programs had to fall on week days. While some local students were able to miss some classes, it was difficult to miss several days worth of school for many.
For the past 6 months, the LbE Hawaii team has been working day and night putting together a program that can serve local students exclusively. We are working on establishing partnerships, seeking sites for field trips, and creating a new curriculum to accommodate learners of all ages across the state of Hawaiʻi.
Since we could control the actual dates, timing, and location, we know we could impact a much wider group of local learners such as hosting programs on weekends, holidays, and school breaks.
The program structure will include:
Local student learners (we will have programs for elementary, middle, high, and college students)
Aloha+ Challenge as our framework
Small learning group environments, lead by trained LbE Hawaii Program Leaders
Meaningful lecture pertaining to the program theme
Final project and presentation
Track learners' ongoing progress pre-during-post program on our LbE Sustainability Learning Hub platform with integrated curriculum, activities, discussion boards, and a legacy hall of participant projects
Pending local country guidelines, we have the intention to launch our first fully local program on Oʻahu island in February 2021 with programs opening in Kauaʻi and the Big Island of Hawaiʻi soon after. We will follow all CDC and local county guidelines when operating our programs to ensure the safety of our learners and employees.
Stay tuned for details.