Hanahau‘oli School


A Century of Lifelong, Joyful Learning

Hanahau'oli School

Photos: Hanahau‘oli School


Hanahauoli School
Lia Woo
Interim Head of School

Celebrating 100 years of honoring childhood and educating with each child’s unique individual development in mind, Hanahau‘oli School looks back with pride and forward with excitement on its historic centennial milestone. This small, carefully designed Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6 school has a long and distinguished legacy of personalized, child-centered progressive education devoted to children learning by doing as problem solvers, innovative thinkers and collaborators.


“At Hanahau‘oli (‘happy work’), we honor a child’s work, which is play, through which they begin to understand their world and their place in it,” says Interim Head of School Lia Woo (’88). “We build upon children’s curiosities to help them construct deep understandings, to gain confidence in themselves as thinkers and learners and to recognize their responsibilities to others.”


Reflecting its centennial theme of Ho‘omau Hanahau‘oli (“Perpetuating a Legacy of Lifelong, Joyful Learning”), students contribute to perpetuating the legacy of honored school traditions through integrated units of study. While studying schools, Kulāiwi students in second and third grade collaborated to research, write and illustrate a commemorative book for publication—thanks to a book publisher parent—on Hanahau‘oli’s most important traditions. Sixth graders composed a new second verse to Hanahau‘oli’s traditional “Stepping Stones” song performed at the Stepping Stones ceremony, where graduating sixth graders unveiled their personal stepping stone.


Hanahau'oli School


“Hanahau‘oli is where children begin their journey of lifelong learning while building memories that last a lifetime.”

— Lia Woo, Interim Head of School

Collaboratively, faculty, alumni and parents are planning a yearlong celebration of special events, activities, and community service and outreach. On Sept. 22 this fall, the Hanahau‘oli Centennial Birthday Bash officially kicks off the centennial and welcomes alumni to join the school’s current school community for a fun-filled homecoming with arts, crafts, music, food and more. On Nov. 3, 2018 Hanahau‘oli hosts its annual Children’s Fair, a community event designed just for young children and families complete with ponies, games, crafts and student entertainment. In February 2019, the Founders’ play about the founding of the school makes its debut. It is written and will be performed by students under the guidance of librarian Gabby Holt (’02).


Hanahau‘oli has a well-earned national reputation for its enduring expertise on early childhood education and is well respected in the Islands for its continuous outreach to our state’s educational community. To culminate its centennial year, Hanahau‘oli will partner with the University of Hawai‘i to offer a Progressive Education Symposium, which will be open to the public, on April 6, 2019. For more information, visit the school’s website.


“Hanahau‘oli is where children begin their journey of lifelong learning while building memories that last a lifetime,” says Woo. “We celebrate with great pride our first 100 years of progressive education and look forward to continued joyous work in our next century ahead.”


1922 Makiki Street, Honolulu, HI 96822, (808) 949-6461, Hanahauoli.org


Hanahauoli School