Project Hoʻopoeko

ʻO Ke Alelo Matua Kēia

A team of innovative Hawaiian language educators created Ke Alelo Matua in 2019 under an Administrative Native American (ANA) grant through Papahana Kuaola. This grant was in response to growing demands for the normalization of Hawaiian language in workplaces and community organizations within the Koʻolau districts of Oʻahu.

The goal of normalization is met through two clearly defined objectives around the classroom teaching methodology and the inclusion of traditional Hawaiian wisdom, in addition to online supplemental learning tools and workplace-specific vocabulary.

Participants in Ke Alelo Matua engage with a methodology that originates from Dr. Caleb Categno’s Silent Way Method. Learners enjoy the use of Cuisenaire Rods and other manipulatives known to support successful language acquisition.

Kuʻuleilani Reyes


Kuʻulei Reyes and her lāhui reside in Kualoa.  She graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in History, Education, and Library Sciences.  She is currently the Hawaii Pacific Collection Librarian at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama.  Kuʻulei is a professional educator and is a seasoned public high school Social Studies teacher for over 17 years, including a few in higher education.

“Nana i ke kumu”, check the source.

Keoua Nelsen


Keoua Nelsen was born and raised in Kealakekua, Kona. He attended Marymount College Palos Verdes in California and Chaminade University of Honolulu. After moving back from Texas in 1994, he had a strong desire to get reacquainted with his culture and to learn Hawaiian language. It wasn’t until 2008 that the opportunity to enter class with anew style of learning called Kealaleo. He is currently an alakaʻi for his kumuʻs classes and has been teaching his own classes since 2014.

“ Learning to speak Hawaiian is a gift you give yourself!” as my Kumu would say.

Moke Kaʻāpana


Moke Kaʻāpana is from Kailua, Oʻahu with ʻohana from Kaʻū, Hawaiʻi and Hanalei, Kauaʻi.  He graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa in Hawaiian Studies and Art with a post-grad diploma in film from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.  His passions and interests are deeply rooted in the traditions and heritage of his ancestors.

“He aliʻi ka ʻaina, he kāua ke kanaka”


  • Gods Country
  • Kākoʻoʻiwi
  • Ke Kula Kaiapuni ʻo Pūʻōhala
  • Kualoa Ranch
  • Mālama Honua Charter School
  • Pacific American Foundation
  • Partners in Development
  • Waimanlo Learning Center
  • Waimanalo Limu Hui


  • Waipao
  • Waimanalo Learning Center