A ‘promise’ to the Polynesian Voyaging Society - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

A ‘promise’ to the Polynesian Voyaging Society

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

When the Hokulea begins its worldwide voyage in May 2014, 175 schools and academic organizations will be following along.

Not in the ocean, but in the classroom.

Monday, several of Hawaii's top educators signed a pledge to support the mission of the Hokulea and the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

While the vessel will be sailed in the traditional manner, without any electronic guidance systems of machine power, its sister canoe the Hikianalia will be fully trimmed with technology. It will be able to send back scores of information that will catalog the voyage for students' use.

"I think it's huge, I really think it's huge" said Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "Those are the kinds of things that will live with them for the rest of their lives. It's the kind of values you want to see in a community that is strong and healthy" she continued.

Nainoa Thompson, the driving force behind the PVS, posed the task as a question.

"How can the voyage capture the imagination and the spirit and the creativity of children?"

The answer, he says, is to inspire students with hands on education, something far more valuable than lessons learned from a book.

Proof of success can already be seen in two Kamaile Academy students, Isaiah Pule and Daniel Corpuz. They have apprenticed on the ship through their school's navigator's club.

"I just got to know more of how proud I should be to be Hawaiian, and how proud I should be to be part of PVS" said Pule.

"There are a lot of challenges in life, but as long as you take it on with the right mindset you can accomplish anything" added Corpuz, sounding far more mature than his 15 years of age.

While they will not be on the worldwide voyage in person, they will be there in spirit. Thompson hopes the same for countless school children across the globe.

"Any child on the planet can be on the voyage even though they're not on the deck. So it allows for the many, possibly millions to part of the voyage".

A blessing will be held in Hilo on May 3. After that, the ships navigators will pick the time upon which to set sail.

The voyage is expected to take roughly three years to complete.

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