June 30, 2021

Seeing Lanai as a Classroom: E Ike Hou Ia Lanai 2021

We recognize the proper use of the Hawaiian language including the ‘okina [‘], a glottal stop, and the kahakō [ō] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai‘i such as Lāna‘i). However, these have been omitted from this website for the best online experience for our visitors. We realize the importance and continue to use them outside of the online platform.

Every year, the entire island of Lanai becomes a classroom for dozens of students through Lanai Culture & Heritage Center’s E Ike Hou ia Lanai. By participating in the summer program, keiki can view their home through a historical and cultural lens, visiting storied places and learning about culture and history. The summer 2021 program will be the ninth year of this cultural literacy initiative and will consist of a mix of in-person and at-home activities.

Bringing storied places into the home

Typically, students venture out to the storied places of Lanai, however, the pandemic forced E Ike Hou to change into an all-digital format last summer. The team quickly pivoted to bring the place-based curriculum online, creating modules comprised of videos, worksheets, activities and readings centered upon the special locations. Although the gathering restrictions meant that the program was not able to facilitate typical stewardship and outdoor activities, leaders discovered a few silver linings during the home-learning program.

While kids worked on projects at home, families were also able to partake in the activities, and some ohana were able to explore different cultural sites on their own. “It kind of put learning back with ohana,” explained program leader Shelly Preza. “I think a lot of the adults in the family also learned about this island, so that was a really cool outcome from last summer that we are hoping to continue this summer.”

In addition to family participation, the virtual program accommodated more age groups, so elementary students were also able to partake in activities through online guidance. Upon completion, students were able to bring their workbooks to the Lanai Culture & Heritage Center to receive books, program t-shirts, water bottles, backpacks and other back-to-school essentials.

2021 hybrid program

As restrictions loosen, the culture center plans to host the 2021 E Ike Hou as a hybrid program with online learning modules, virtual workshops, and some outdoor in-person activities. The program, which will run from July 5 through July 30, will again be open to all ages, however, workbooks will be oriented towards K-12 students.

This year’s theme “Lei ana Lanai” describes how Lanai is adorned with its stories and the humble pride of its people.

Within each module, students can expect a video, reading, and workshops related to three key concepts: ka hana noeau (skilled work), ka hana mahiai (agriculture), and ka hana lawaia (fishing-related work). “So much of it is not about learning in the classroom, but understanding that Lanai itself is a classroom,” Preza explained.

E Ike Hou Registration

E Ike Hou is now accepting registrations online at Those interested in the program can register in time to attend a virtual orientation on Friday, July 2. Visit or contact for more information.

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