A Testimonial for Naʻau's Kindergarten Readiness Program:
With my son applying for Kindergarten in a year, I shopped around for a Tutor. We checked out a few different places, but just didn't feel like they were the correct fit for our family. Fortunately, when we met Uncle Mel and Aunty Lois, we knew that this was a perfect environment for our son. It is hard to rely on just anyone for something as important as our children. We wanted a group who wanted to know what our goals were, and then they explained to us what other students have experienced when applying to a School. After every lesson, we received an update from the tutor. We also heard what they thought our sons progression should be. They also took the time to ask what we wanted to focus on, just to make sure they were fulfilling our goals. I'm happy to say that our son was recently accepted into Maryknoll School. He will be one of the youngest in his class, but is able to recite and write the alphabet, write and count numbers. He has achieved so much over the past year with Na'au's guidance. Mahalo to the Naʻau ʻOhana for all that you have done.
- Nelson, Father of Mason Uyemura
Dear Uncle Mel and all at Naʻau,
Thank you for for making the SSAT prep course fun and interesting for Matthew. He truly enjoyed going to your summer program and we were pleasantly surprised when he said he wanted to continue going to Naʻau during the semester. With your help, he seemed well prepared and confident for his middle school interviews. We wanted to let you know that he got into all four of the schools that he applied for and has decided to go to Punahou.
Jodi and William G., Parents of Matthew G.
Dear Uncle Mel and Aunty Lois and all the Na'au Team,
A huge mahalo for your support and wealth of experience in preparing Caitlyn for her SSAT tests and interviews. She felt very calm going into the test, and spoke with confidence in her interviews since she was well prepared. We were amazed at how much she kept her cool throughout the entire process, in spite of a very full schedule and so much going on, and this was thanks to all the great preparation from Na'au. She was so excited to be offered a place at Mid-Pacific Institute, and we think the school will be a great fit for her. We really appreciate how flexible and accommodating you have been throughout the tutoring process. Thank you also for your help in tutoring Liam with his writing - he will be seeing you soon when it is his turn to prepare for SSAT tests too!
Mahalo nui loa,
Hazel Ito and family
Hi Uncle Mel, Aunty Lois & Uncle Keliʻi-
I wanted you folks to know that last week was a whirlwind with Zacary getting into Punahou and ʻIolani for 7th grade. We are so excited and only now has it begun to sink in. We owe so much to Naʻau, and every chance I get, I tell everyone how much you have touched our lives and really prepared Zacary for the next step.
We have some huge decisions ahead of us, but are so excited that Zacary is getting this incredible opportunity to further himself both socially and academically. Will definitely be back this summer...just trying to figure out our schedule.
Thank you again!
Lots of love (hugs & kisses) to all of you at Naʻau!
Wendy Tenn, Mother of Zacary
Just wanted to thank you for the SSAT prep sessions with Julia. She gained so many strategies and added knowledge that she went into testing comfortable and prepared. As a result, she got accepted into ʻIolani School. Once again, thank you for time, patience, and efforts!
Jay & Kris Visaya, Parents of Julia
I wanted to share all of Makakoa's amazing accomplishments with you.
Makakoa felt he did well in the Kamehamea schools testing and interviews. He said he felt prepared with all the extra studying and tutoring you folks provided him. He felt confident in his answers on the test and in the interview. It was a positive experience for him because he was well prepared by you!
Makakoa has also made leaps and bounds in his school work and has become a star student at Kalākaua Middle School. He has made the honor roll twice and was added to the dean's list in the second quarter with a 4.0 grade average. He was selected to represent the 6th graders in the science fair district finals. He was awarded Student of the Month for February and continues to impress teachers with his writing and math skills. He may also be having the opportunity to travel this summer with a group of select students on a "science/engineering trip" and was recommended by teachers to become a part of AVID.
Our ʻohana cannot thank you enough for all that you have done for him! You have mentored Makakoa and have helped him to excel beyond our expectations. We appreciate the spirit of aloha and ʻohana we feel whenever we walk through your doors.
Luisa Pelletier , Mother of Makakoa
Hi Aunty Lois and Uncle Mel,
Just to let you know, Mia will be attending Mid Pac in the fall for 6th grade. That was her first choice so she is ecstatic. Thank you again for all your hard work trying to get Mia ready for the SSAT. We feel relieved knowing that she got into a great school...now she's just got to do her best and make the most of her Mid Pac experience.
Michelle Nakagawa, Mother of Mia
Aunty Lois and Uncle Mel, did you feel a slight earth tremor about 5pm-ish today? I admit it was me getting down on my knees to say my prayers to thank Heavenly Father and Na'au for Ikaika's invitation to attend Kamehameha School as a freshman this coming 9th grade year.
Please accept mine and Kalani's and Ikaika's heartfelt expression of gratitude to you both for guiding and prepping Ikaika to do his very best during the Kamehameha's 9th grade admission process. Taking the SSAT was a very good experience for Ikaika, as well as for us. Itʻs taught us that preparation for admissionʻs testing is very, very important.
Wow. . . thank you both for all of your teaching him how to shine academically as a student and as a person. With a grateful heart, mahalo.
Marylyn Kaʻahanui, mother of Ikaika Kaʻahnui
Attending Kamehameha Fall 2013
Aloha Uncle Mel,
We wanted to give our many thanks in having Hiʻilei be a part of your Test Prep program. . . As you can see by the pre and post-test she improved in ALL areas. Thanks to Naʻau's hard work and dedication in giving Hiʻilei confidence and knowledge she was able to score higher. We truly feel Hiʻilei is a smart and hard working girl who tries her best, but we do want to emphasize that had it not been for the Naʻau ʻOhana these scores would not have been achieved. We will forever be grateful. Mahalo.
Angie and Kamu Anderson, parents of Hiʻilei Anderson
Attending Kamehameha Fall 2013
I am pleased to announce that Brooke has been wait listed for Punahou and accepted to Hawaii Baptist Academy, ʻIolani and Kamehameha Schools. I think we are leaning towards choosing Kamehameha Schools…
We are very thankful for all of the test and interview prepping that she received at your institution. We feel that it has helped her tremendously in the whole process.
Desha Ramos, mother of Brooke Ramos
[We] wanted to thank Na`au and let you know that Lauren was accepted by both Punahou and ʻIolani. Right now we are undecided as to where we will send her but if you have any thoughts on which school would be a better fit for her, we would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you again for everything.
Mother of Lauren
Attending Punahou Fall 2013
Thank you for preparing Taylor to take the SSAT test. Taylor is still in shock about being accepted at Punahou. Our family and friends are totally thrilled. I am thankful with the outcome and feel that Punahou will challenge Taylor and maximize her potential. Our heartfelt mahalo for all your help in preparing Taylor for admissions into Punahou. We wish you all the best at the center.
Margie Abe Mother of Taylor (Punahou)
Thank you so much for all your help in preparing Jonah for the private school admission testing process. Everyone at Naʻau has been absolutely wonderful. I just wanted to let you know that Jonah was accepted to both ʻIolani and Kamehameha for seventh grade next year. Choosing between the two is a difficult decision to make, but we do recognize that we are blessed to be in this “win-win” situation. I just wanted to say thank you again. We will be sure to let you know what we decide.
Keahi & Peter Birch
Parents of Jonah Kulanakila
With each glimpse of Naʻau, when I'm on Vineyard Boulevard, I pay homage as if Naʻau is my church of worship. We are still basking in awe to realize that Keilen got accepted to Iolani, Punahou and Mid-Pacific. Beyond that admission process, the rewards reaped from learning at Naʻau never end as he recently got offered an invitation to join the John Hopkins University for Talented Youth by scoring in the 98 percentile nationally for math. He also took a national exam at his school recently and received a 98 percentile overall (99 percentile in vocabulary) in reading.
Kelis also got offered an invitation by scoring in the 97the percentile nationally for reading comprehension in the private school sector (the results indicated that her score would have been higher in the public sector) and 98th percentile for math.
Gratitude will always be in the forefront of my mind when I think of Naʻau.
Mother of Kelis (ʻIolani) and Keilen (ʻIolani)
Aunty Lois and Uncle Mel: Now that Kori has made her difficult decision about which school she will be attending I can sit back and thank you for all Naʻau has done and will continue do with Kori. We were pleasantly surprised that Kori got accepted to both Iolani and Punahou schools. Thank you for helping her with her writing skill all these years and most recently with her SSAT testing skills. Most especially thank you making Naʻau a place where she can learn and have fun in the process. Mahalo! Gwen Okamoto, Mother of Kori, Maʻemaʻe
It is hard to believe that Malia has been a student of Naʻau for five years! I can sincerely say that Naʻau has shaped her personal and academic development. Naʻau has provided Malia with exceptional opportunities to show her creative spirit. There are many wonderful experiences that Malia has had at Naʻau but one that is particularly memorable is the time that Governor Lingle read her poem “Golden” at the “Take Your Pet to Work Day”. On that day, Malia proudly brought our beloved Golden Retriever, “Reno” with her to meet the Governor. Through Naʻau, Malia has won many writing and art awards, and has gained experience in public speaking. She was only in first grade when she memorized her poem and presented it in front of hundreds of people at the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poetry Contest.
I am so grateful to Uncle Mel and Aunty Lois for preparing Malia for admission to private school. The atmosphere was low-key, low pressure and nurturing. I especially appreciated that the SSAT prep course focused on the whole child and was much more than drilling for a standardized test. Malia received acceptances to middle school from Iolani, Punahou and Mid Pacific Institute. She is so fortunate to be in a position to choose among these excellent private schools, thanks in large part to growing up with Naʻau. Thank you Uncle Mel and Aunty Lois for bringing out the creative potential in Malia!
Mother of Malia Brooks, Waialae School
I wanted to let you know that, just as you have had a tremendous impact on so many children's lives here in Hawaiʻi, you have also had a major impact on Keapolani's life. Since he worked with you and Mel at Naʻau, he actually loves to write, and loves writing poetry, in particular. He also has a great deal of confidence in his own thoughts and his ability to express them through writing. He's certainly thrilled about it, and I am still pretty speechless... Truly, you have had an amazing affect on him, both with respect to his academics and his confidence. Mahalo again for being. You are truly amazing people that affect so many, so deeply. I know that Keapolani will always cherish the time that he spent at Naʻau, and the impact that you have had and continue to have on him.
Dr. Sam L. Noʻeau Warner for Keapolani K. Palmeira Beamer
From the depths of our hearts, we want to express our gratitude to Uncle Mel, Aunty Lois, and all of the other wonderful Naʻau aunties and uncles who have helped Ethan mature and gain confidence throughout the years. Thanks to their hard work and faith in Ethan’s abilities, he has been accepted to Punahou, MidPacific Institute, and Maryknoll schools. The dream of “our boy” attending a private school just became a reality! This would not have been possible without the awesome work that they do in the SSAT Prep workshop and tutoring sessions. More importantly, though, we have witnessed Ethan’s transformation from unsure writer and reluctant math student to expressive author and confident problem solver! We are forever grateful that we have found a place that teaches with love and kindness and always with the best of intentions for our son. We confidently place our most precious gift, Ethan, in the capable hands of our Naʻau friends.
Mel and Denise Nakaoka
Parents of Ethan, Waialae School
Naʻau has made a world of difference for Kellie. It has given her the confidence to stand up in class and read her papers with confidence and when she writes, it gives her a way to express herself and to open up. All of you there have made Naʻau like a second home to her -- it has become a part of her life. Lois, thank you and Mel for helping Kellie.
David and Erin Yamada
Parents of Kellie, Sacred Hearts Academy
Our family has been blessed by having Cody (age 9) attend Naʻau. He simply loves going there. This is a boy who didn't like to write. If asked, he probably would say he still doesn't like to write but that he loves going to Naʻau because he gets to use his imagination, have fun and play games. The truth is - in all that "fun," he is inspired to write poetry and stories, and think critically. And he's enjoying reading! In less than four months after starting Naʻau, his 3rd grade school reading test scores improved by 2 grade levels (from late 2nd grade to mid-5th grade). His scores since have consistently continued to improve.
For me, I love how Aunty Lois, Uncle Mel, Aunty Lindsay, and everyone at Naʻau conduct themselves -- the kids learn in such a respectful, loving, peaceful atmosphere. I wish every child in Hawaiʻi could have such joyous learning. Naʻau is a magical place.
Leslie and Clarence Pacarro
Parents of Cody, Hahaʻione School
We wanted to write to express all of our gratitude to Naʻau: Puʻuwai will be a Kamehameha student this Fall. I spoke to the admissions office at Kamehameha for a short debriefing, just to get an idea of what was the key thing that helped her. All around she did great. Grades were solid. The interviewer scored her high. Her test scores were above average, but what stood out was her essay. They were very impressed by her essay. We are thankful and blessed to have Naʻau in our lives. Your interview and essay test preparation were key factors in her success. Now that Puʻuwai will be at Kamehameha with her younger sister, I just have my youngest one left. So I will be e-mailing you about a summer program for him very soon. Again, mahalo Aunty Lois and Uncle Mel for everything. - Kalau Robins Mother of Puʻuwai, Kamehameha
We are thrilled to report that Tiana has received acceptance letters from Mid Pac, Kamehameha, Punahou, and Iolani Thank you for the wonderful support. I know she couldn't have done this well without the help she received from her Uncle Mel and Aunty Lois. Her writing has improved a lot and I see her applying many of the strategies that she has learned from Naʻau in her daily studies. I fully believe that Tiana's years at Naʻau have prepared her for this great achievement. Tiana continues to enjoy her learning time with you and our ʻohana gives Naʻau the credit for her private school admissions success--she wouldn't have done so well without all that she has learned from your center. We have until April 15th to make a decision. What do we do now? Mahalo nui loa, Naʻau!
Mother of Tiana, St. Andrews Priory
Thank you to both Aunty Lois and Uncle Mel for your wonderful support and guidance throughout this school year. It is evident given Brandi's comments and her work that she has benefited in so many ways from her experience at Naʻau. I love it and am happy for the fact that Brandi enjoys and looks forward to her time at Naʻau. She never gives me the impression that it's more work for her. Naʻau has provided a positive and nurturing environment in which Brandi has been encouraged to explore herself in a creative format. Her poems have often been the impetus for discussion we've never had before, which in the end left me to learn things I never really knew about Brandi. These discussions contributed to a closer relationship and better understanding of one another. This is definitely a bonus that was not part of my initial expectations. Thank you. There are many more examples and stories to share but what they all speak to is the wonderful service Aunty Lois and Uncle Mel provide to the children and families. Naʻau is ohana and it's very evident in all that you do.
Mother of Brandi, Punahou School
Thanks for all you have done for my children. I am very proud of Alyssa because she has increased her verbal and reading comprehension SSAT scores to meet her goals. She has also gained a lot of self-confidence in the process.
Mother of Alyssa and Kaitlyn, Maemae Elementary
When we enrolled our son at Naʻau a year ago, the goal was to help him get into the 7th Grade at Mid-Pacific in 2009. With your help and support, Gavin will be attending 6th Grade at MPI this year! Your team not only improved his writing skills, you also customized a program that helped him with the entire application/interview process for Mid-Pacific. Thank you so much for taking such a personal and loving approach to teaching Gavin. We feel so fortunate to have been part of your ohana. Naʻau is a nurturing, inviting place for both student and parent. The staff at Naʻau are always gracious, accommodating, and encouraging. After only a few months at Naʻau, we were surprised to learn that our son placed first in his category for the Board of Water Supply calendar contest!
Mother of Gavin, Mid-Pacific Institute
Diane Low has made such a fantastic progress in her writing which makes her more confident since joining Naʻau one year ago. We see her working on poems at home on her own as well. She has won numerous art and writing awards due to your help which include the Board of Water Supply Poster/Calendar contest as well as international awards. She recently was accepted to Punahou School as a 6th grader. Punahou School is her first-choice school, so she is very excited.
Our son, Brandon Low, a freshman at Punahou, has also seen a great difference in his writing. His writing has greatly improved under your supervision. He concentrated predominantly in math and science prior to coming to Naʻau. Now he is a persuasive writer and working on his creativity.
Mahalo for your help for both of our children,
Barbara And Jim Low
Parents of Diane and Brandon, Punahou students
After learning tips for the SAT writing section at Naʻau, my essay score went from a 9 to a 12 (maximum score). The overall SAT score went up a hundred points and I got a 790 (out of 800)! Thank you Aunty Lois and Uncle Mel -- you are the best!
Mie Omori, Iolani School
Daughter of Clarice Hashimoto and Gary Omori
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your love, support, and healing, loving guidance. We are truly grateful for you! Thank you for providing Chase with a safe, loving, unconditional space to freely express himself. What a gift!
Glen and Janey Lindbo
Parents of Chase, student at Iolani School
Sammi enjoyed the Paragraph Writing Institute. She told me that she felt really inspired to write at Naʻau. There have been few times after the class when she would say, "Uncle Mel taught me that." I'm so glad she had the chance to learn from you. My intention was to give her a different experience with writing -- one that she would not get in public school. Learning from writers boosted her excitement about writing. I think Naʻau is a great place and the inspiration begins when you enter the door -- so beautiful, calm, and relaxing. Thanks so much for your kindness.
Joyce Larson, Teacher
Mom of Samantha Kei, Maunawili Elementary School
Lois and Mel have brought out the best in our daughter, Kristen. Since attending Naʻau, we have not only seen a great improvement in her writing skills, but she has also become a confident writer. She used to dislike writing, but now ENJOYS it and can't wait to attend her next Naʻau class. She is able to express her inner feelings better and put it into words. Sometimes we are really surprised at the poems she brings home for us to read. Terrific.
Kristen told us that "Aunty Lois and Uncle Mel make writing fun!" What a big difference in her attitude. We love it! Kristen was recently accepted to all the private schools she applied to (Iolani, Punahou, Mid Pacific Institute), and we know that Naʻau played a big part in her success. Now we have the pleasant job of selecting one of them! We are truly grateful to Mel and Lois for all the love and guidance they give Kristen every week. We also feel very fortunate to have found Naʻau and to become part of your ʻohana. We love you Lois and Mel. You are the greatest!
Derek and Shirlene Tanabe
Parent of Kristen, Kane'ohe Elementary School
Naʻau has become an integral part of our lives and the Naʻau ʻohana has enhanced our lives tremendously! Naʻau provides more than skills in language arts, math and test taking. Naʻau provides support, knowledge and a warm spirit. Naʻau has given Ashley and Lahela confidence in writing, speaking and communication in their daily lives, not just in school. Ashley has more direction and focus, and is enjoying the honors program at Kamehameha. Lahela is more confident and comfortable in test taking and writing. The SSAT prep has helped Lahela in all areas of applying to private high schools. She did so well on the SSAT, writing samples, and interviews that she has received acceptance letters from Kamehameha, Iolani, Punahou and Maryknoll. Naʻau has truly enriched the lives of the whole Williams ʻohana!
Gina M. Williams
Proud parent of Ashley (Kamehameha) and Lahela (TBA)
We are so fortunate to have Aunty Lois and Uncle Mel in our lives. They have enriched our learning by sharing their wisdom and love. Both of our girls enjoy their classes and look forward to each and every session. This is what true learning is all about.
Rod and Rhonda Nagao, Parents of Lauren and Haley, both students at Iolani School
I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart! My two sons, Matt and Kyle, just completed your summer Fiction Writing Institute and I could not believe the three writings that they completed in just one week time period! It was amazing! Their writings had me crying, laughing and just grinning ear to ear with pride! I am amazed at how colorful and descriptive their writings were! Thank you so much for giving them this gift!
Parent of sons Kyle, Our Redeemer Lutheran, and Matt, Lutheran High School
Uncle Mel and Aunty Lois, I cannot thank you enough for making creative writing fun for my children. They now look forward to Mondays, especially Deja. Out of all the other extra curricular activities I've ever put my children through, this is by far the best investment I've made for them.
Mom of Deray, St. Anthony; Divon, Maʻemaʻe; & Deja, St. Theresa
The funny thing is you would think that students would welcome not having to go to extra classes to study. But the twins really look forward to going to Naʻau. They are sincerely disappointed that they cannot attend your classes all the time. We consider ourselves so blessed to have found you both because they get so much more than just mere instructions. I can't thank you enough for the impact you have made in my children's lives.We really love you guys.
Pauline & Larry Nomura
Daughters Janelle & Julianne, both students at Punahou
I was pleasantly shocked to read the poems that my daughter wrote after only six months of writing lessons. She has really improved on her overall writing skills.
Eddie Flores, Jr., Founder, L&L Drive Inn
Father of Ellice, Kalani High School student
MAHALO PLENTY!!!! I think there is a bright light at the end of Marisa's tunnel now. She is much happier with your help.
Ann and Keith Shigetomi
Parents of Marisa Shigetomi, Roosevelt High School
Naʻau is a wonderful venue for aspiring writers of any age or aptitude. They've made a tremendous difference for me, offering a customized writers' workshop that has lent structure, purpose, and invaluable feedback to my writing process."
Malia Mattoch McManus
A Testimonial for Naʻau's SAT/College Prep Classes:
Naʻau Learning Center has given me the support needed to improve and succeed in my writing skills. The teachers are the most heart-warming people I have ever met and the atmosphere is very welcoming. They have helped me with the SAT, college admissions, and scholarships. I am truly grateful for their help because without them, I wouldn't be where I am today. Thank-you Na`au for everything you've done!
Keelan Okazaki, 2013 graduate of Mililani High School
Attending Creighton University Fall 2013