Our mission at Pono Outdoor Program is to inspire our members to reach their highest potential as free-thinking, creative human beings who have a lifelong love of learning, Pono Outdoor Program offers a faith-based education to member families and their children faithfully connecting with nature. Our goal is to reunify humanity with nature by teaching indigenous ways such as fire-making, water purification, shelter building, food foraging, medicinal plant knowledge, and regenerative farming in co-creation with our community here on Maui.
We believe that the synthesis of humanity and nature is crucial for our survival and teaching our community the means to thrive with this knowledge is the basis of our program. Pono – to make right of what has been missing in our society, we focus on the health and sustainability of mind, body, and spirit as is reflected in our environment and immediate surroundings.
With multi-age classes, we currently accept members ages 6 to 12 years old and invite teenagers and adults from our community to participate in learning together with the keiki. We believe that every individual, both big and small, has a gift and skill set to share with the world; here everyone can find their place within a co-creative learning environment. We strive to exemplify values of pono, aloha, love, honesty, respect, kuleana, responsibility, integrity, and gratitude in every lesson for our keiki and the greater community. With these values, we know our keiki will thrive as adults.
Aloha, my name is Bianca. I was an employee in the public school system for many years. I felt that there was a big hole missing out of the educational value for the keiki in schools. I dreamt to fill that hole and with that dream came the vision of 'āina based learning – images of the forests here on Maui, local regenerative farmers, and knowledge of foraging. Then to my surprise, Pono Outdoor Program evolved. I offer a holistic approach to the child’s specific developmental needs. I teach in a way that will foster resilient, confident, and independent thinkers. I am honored to have your keiki as a part of this program where sovereignty meets the children and they are able to learn and grow to be pono with the ʻāina.
Our keiki have the opportunity to learn from many members of our community, including Uncle George Kahumoku Jr. – one of our mentors in regenerative farming, music, and Hawaiian culture. We are so grateful to co-create a multi-generational learning environment.
Laulima – many hands working together
Aloha! My name is Lindsay. I moved to Maui in 2005. I am married and we have two boys, 10 and 2. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to care for and teach children. I worked in a preschool setting for almost five years. With Covid policies in the school system taking a toll on our family, I searched for an alternative and found Bianca. I was offered the opportunity to work with Bianca and it has been very rewarding. The children are learning life skills, meditation, foraging, water safety, in addition to a comprehensive academic curriculum. This is not the standard classroom setting where the kids must sit still, they are not stuck inside four walls. They are outside, exploring. Bianca gives the kids one on one time and I’ve seen great growth in my son and all the other children.
I have always seen myself as a teacher. Discovering Pono Outdoor program has allowed me to teach in a way that resonates with how I believe education should be. After working in public schools I realized traditional schooling was missing crucial knowledge for personal sovereignty. Empowering future generations to take accountability for their health, happiness and prosperity is vital for a sustainable future. As I teacher I value cultivating both awareness of self and awareness of environment. Seeing the land as something that can not only feed us, but heal us is an incredible asset. I teach cultivating inner awareness through yoga, qi gong, meditation and play. Coupling this with survival skills is at the core of our curriculum. I feel so grateful for this opportunity to both learn and teach what I value so deeply.