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A Promise to Children

We are the stewards and navigators of Hawai‘i’s educational community.  We believe that the betterment of humanity is inherently possible, and we believe our schools, collectively, from early childhood education through advanced graduate studies, are a powerful force for good.

We support the educational mission of the Worldwide Voyage of Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, knowing wholeheartedly the urgency we face in preparing our children to live, thrive, and lead our changing world toward goodness. This is the voyage of our lifetimes, and we are steadfast in our commitment to achieve a profound transformation in education.

We will transform our schools, empower youthful voices, and accept the responsibility of Mālama Honua. We believe that by inspiring children to explore, discover and learn about Island Earth, they will navigate the future of humanity toward vitality, renewal, and compassion.

Today, with images of the Mālama Hawai‘i voyage fresh in our minds and strong in our spirits, we promise to create, sustain, and navigate a movement dedicated to future generations, one that is imbued with the goodness of Hōkūle‘a and the wisdom born of her legacy.

Over the next 48 months, the Worldwide Voyage will sail 49,000 nautical miles, touch the shores of 26 countries, and make safe harbor in 85 ports, while sharing Hawai‘i’s gift of caring and kindness with the world.

And thus, we the undersigned, will participate in the Worldwide Voyage through our classrooms and educational advocacy, providing winds in the sails of Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia as they circumnavigate Island Earth.

The strength of our commitment is demonstrated in this partnership, unprecedented in Hawai‘i’s history.  We are strengthened with the knowledge that by working together, we can and will reach our shared destination – a world worthy of our children.

We will teach and learn together and hope others will be inspired to join us.

Sign The Promise

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In the past six months, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia have sailed 2,500 nautical miles, visited 33 communities, and received more 60,000 volunteer hours of support during their Mālama Hawaiʻi journey. The most significant statistic, however, is the 20,000 school children that have connected with the canoes, far more than the benchmark of 5,000.

“So right now we’re at one out of ten school-aged children have come to the canoe. Fundamentally from those statistics we are both comfortable and excited that we can make the claim that Hawaii is with us,” said master navigator Nainoa Thompson.

One of the Worldwide Voyage’s core missions is to engage learners across the globe. The Promise to Children outlines the strong bond between the voyaging and education communities starting in Hawai‘i.

“It’s a simple document that is written by and authored by educational leadership in Hawaii. But it’s a document that we put on Hōkūleʻa, and we take it around the world,” said Thompson.

More than 175 education organizations have already committed to support the Worldwide Voyage, including the Department of the Education and the University of Hawai‘i.

“It’s probably one of the most exciting learning opportunities not only for our teachers who are going to be on the crews, but for our students to see something that is global, 21st century, but yet very grounded in our tradition and culture. I think it’s going to give us all in the whole state a sense of pride and a sense of purpose. And that will last beyond the voyage. It’ll be a lifetime.,” said DOE superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

“For me, it’s beyond the role of the University of Hawaii. This is just an incredible opportunity for the best of Hawaii to share ourselves with the entire world,” said David Lassner, interim president of the University of Hawaiʻi.

For the 92 teachers who have sailed as crew members, long-term investment starts with current students.

“The kids that are coming up, they’re going to learn skills that I learned at a much younger age. They’re going to be better prepared as people. And that hopefully the source of future navigators, future crew members will be able to train them so well that they’ll be crew members in the next five years,” said Michelle Kapana-Baird, a teacher at Kaiser High School.

“The voyage is way bigger than the 12 on Hōkūleʻa. That’s probably the most important thing today. It’s much bigger than that. And this document helps us stay focused so in early June 2017 when we come home, did we do anything? Did we change anything?” said Thompson.