Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi decorating winners exemplify themes


Teilana Akre stands next to her advisory classʻs contest-winning door. Classes were encouraged to recycle and use ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi to exemplify the theme Aloha ʻĀina for Hawaiian Language Month.

Mr. Nitta’s, Mrs. Yatsushiro’s and Kumu Kēhauʻs students have won in the three categories of the Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi door and window decorating contest.

The theme was Aloha ʻĀina, which included three different categories. One category was Most Resourceful or Keu A Ka Hoihoi, which encouraged students to decorate by reusing recycled materials.

Another category was Best Use of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi or Piha Loa i Ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, where decorations would be judged on the appropriate use of grammar and spelling in Hawaiian.

The last category was Best Connection to the Theme or Pilina. This award was given to the group whose design reflected a clear understanding of aloha ʻāina. 

The winner of the Keu A Ka Hoihoi category was Mr. Dale Nittaʻs advisory class. Students used paper, bottles, cardboard and other materials they found to display a design across his double doors. 

Mrs. Yatsushiro's Window
Mrs. Yatsushiro’s window decorated in her student’s messages that are in Hawaiian.

“The reason why we chose to go for the recycled materials category was because we didn’t want to add more trash to the world than there already is. So, we just used the resources around us to decorate our door,” junior Teilana Akre said.

The winner of the Piha Loa i Ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi category was Mrs. Noelani Yatsushiroʻs advisory class. Each student shared a message in Hawaiian; then, they combined all of their messages into a heart. 

“I gave them a prompt on each of their triangle papers, and they all completed it with a message in Hawaiian,” Mrs. Yatsushiro said.

The winner of the Pilina award was Kumu Kēhau Lucasʻs class. She actually had two windows decorated by students in her He Aliʻi Ka ʻĀina class, in which she teaches ideas that go perfectly with the category they won.  

One of Kumu Kēhau's decorated windows, which won her class the Pilina award.
One of Kumu Kēhau’s decorated windows, which won her class the Pilina award.

“The entire design is made from recycled materials. The paper came from the paper recycling bin, and we also reused cans. If you look closely, there are song lyrics and ʻōlelo noʻeau. I gave my students the idea to find materials around campus, and use that to depict Aloha ʻĀina,” Kumu Kēhau said.

Even though there were only three winners, many advisory classes decorated their doors and windows. Students used Advisory time to gather materials and turn them into an artistic display. This competition encouraged students to participate in Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi to celebrate and perpetuate Hawaiian culture.

“I appreciated the creative efforts that the kumu and haumāna put forth in their attractive and creative windows,” said Ms. Vanessa Ching, student activities coordinator.