NANAKULI (KHNL)- Many Leeward parents are excited about a new school in Nanakuli- one for first-timers! It's a Kamehameha campus preschool, and a priest blesses the opening day. "This is not just for the children but for their families as well," he says to a group of people under a white tent.
Then, two mothers and their children untie the maile lei before dozens of eager parents file in to check it out. Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Mailer is on hand to oversee the big day. "We've gone from 1 school with 24 students, to now 3 campuses with 35,400 students. Now we have 28 preschools and today we're celebrating our 29th."
Aaron Alejado and his son enjoy the facilities. His son is enrolled here. "it's definitely an honor and privilege for my son to be here."
Alejado says the school invigorates the Leeward coast. "It's also about connecting with the community and really promoting education. Preschool is the foundation of their whole education, teaching them basics of what they need to know before they get into kindergarten."
Kamehameha schools' goal is to help Native Hawaiians achieve their highest potential. That starts with good early education. Mailer notes, "It is with these keiki and their families that we have the very best chance to support them in a good beginning."