15 November 2021

Cultivating Kindness

HDFS prof authors a new book for Hawaiʻi’s keiki

Cultivating Kindness

With 1,000 copies sponsored and disseminated by the Hawaiʻi Dept. of Human Services, Office of Youth Services, of a new book by Thao Le, social service and human resource agencies throughout the state will be more equipped to help our keiki with their social-emotional learning and literacy skills.

“Akahai” is a creative narrative for encouraging loving kindness among our keiki. It draws inspiration from Aloha, as espoused by the teaching of Native Hawaiian poet and philosopher Aunty Pīlahi Paki, explains Thao of the Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences, and resonates with the kind seed in each of us.

“The book focuses on akahai, kindness, and encourages keiki to explore what it means to be kind and what is kindness,” she says. “My hope is for it to serve as a useful socio-emotional resource during this pandemic.”

Thao’s intern student, Adam Ting, is the book’s illustrator. Her graduate research assistant Mayuho Kunogi and intern Johnette Funtanilla presented Akahai at the recent Schools of the Future Conference under the socio-emotional learning sector, and are currently developing cultural- and place-based lesson plans.

Several copies are also being provided to Hawaiʻi Dept. of Education resource teachers, one of whom noted, “I enjoyed the cute story so much that I read the book again and again. Akahai is so appropriate and needed nowadays because people are heightened with anxiety and anger, resulting in more selfish and unkind behaviors.”

Pick up your copy of Akahai from Legacy Isle Publishing. Thao is currently working on a related work focusing on humility. She’s also the guest on Wednesdays on Olelo channel 53 to discuss the book.

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