KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - A preschool that educates children in the Hawaiian language is celebrating 20 years in West Hawaii.
Punana Leo o Kona opened in 1994 in a two-story house in Holualoa. Now housed on the grounds of Christ Church Episcopal in Kealakekua, the preschool accepts 15 students a year.
The preschoolers are prepared for kindergarten while becoming fluent in Hawaiian. Nearly all of the school's 3- to 5-year-old children are fully fluent within three to four months.
The school is one of 11 statewide operated by Aha Punana Leo Inc., which led a movement to remove a ban in 1986 on teaching Hawaiian language in public schools.
West Hawaii Today reports Punana Leo o Kona is celebrating its anniversary with a fundraiser banquet on Saturday.