HONOLULU, HAWAII — The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program under the U.S. Department of Education recently awarded a $100,000 grant to Dr. Eva Washburn-Repollo of Chaminade University to fund a summer program meant to increase Hawaii’s capacity in Filipino culture-based education in K-12 classrooms.
The federal funding will support a short-term, curriculum development project spearheaded by Dr. Washburn-Repollo titled the “Cebuano Language and Culture Program,” in which the participants will travel this summer to the Philippines.
Dr. Washburn-Repollo is an associate professor at the University’s School of Business & Communication.
During the Philippines trip, a travel group of undergraduate and graduate Education majors, administrators and higher education instructors and K-12 teachers will develop creative Cebuano-English educational resource materials as part of their lesson plans on the islands of Negros Oriental and Cebu in the central Visayas region of the Philippines, where the Cebuano language is spoken primarily.
Program selectees will receive language lectures/workshops from the Cebuano Studies Center in the University of San Carlos. In Cebu, they will also visit thematic sites such as indigenous herbal gardens, mangroves and coral reefs. In Negros Oriental, they will attend lectures/workshops at Silliman University’s Institute of Environmental & Marine Sciences, and Silliman’s Marina Mission Clinic, sites chosen because of their strengths in the focal areas of marine biology and indigenous gardens. They will also be working in partnership with scientists from the Jose Rizal Memorial State University.
Program activities will begin on June 13, and end on July 23.
The GPA program leverages Chaminade’s strong teacher education program and links to Hawai‘i’s K-12 classrooms, its success rate working with diverse student populations, and its strong connections to Hawaii’s Filipino community.
Dr. Washburn-Repollo is the program’s project director, and her strength as a native Cebuano speaker and translator, her connections to the Philippines and the partner institutions, and her background in curriculum development and creative pedagogies will be supported by Chaminade’s School of Business & Communication and the School of Behavioral Science & Education.
Dr. Washburn-Repollo said she hopes through the program to increase Hawai‘i’s capacity in offering Filipino culture-based education in the K-12 classrooms.
“It is an honor as a native Cebuano speaker and translator to be able to partner with local institutions,” Washburn-Repollo explained. “It is vital to encourage educational development by honoring children’s language and culture.”
As part of their Fulbright-Hays GPA program, the U.S Department of Education provides grants to support overseas research. Approximately $100,000 or about 100 percent of the total cost of the project will be financed through the federal funding, with the remaining amount of the project paid for by Chaminade University through in-kind contributions and other grant sources. (Chaminade University PR)