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Preserving Hawaiian Culture

January 2004
Kamehameha Schools Design & Production Services recently brought a Xerox Gold Award home to its Honolulu facility.

By Bob Neubauer

While winter sends snow and bitter cold across much of the country, Reid Silva and his crew at Kamehameha Schools, in Honolulu, live in a world without jackets, where eucalyptus trees grow in a lush valley visible through the windows in their in-plant.

But their location in the virtual paradise of Hawaii belies the hard work the nine employees at Design & Production Services handle every day. The three operators in the Digital Document Center (or DDC—part of Design & Production Services) churn out some 1.2 million copies a month of jobs designed by the department's four graphic designers, says Silva, manager of Design & Production Services.

Though they produce an assortment of color brochures, flyers, programs, booklets and catalogs, one of the in-plant's jobs recently brought it much acclaim when it was selected for a Gold award in the 2003 Printing Innovation with Xerox Imaging Awards.

The in-plant printed a series of illustrated educational books on its DocuColor 2045. Called the "Where I Live" series, the saddle-stitched books were designed to teach children in different parts of Hawaii about the area in which they live. One of the in-plant's designers, Robin Racoma, illustrated the books using photos of the different areas.

The books reflect the mission of Kamehameha Schools: to instill pride among native Hawaiian children in their culture, language, history and traditions. Back in the 1800s, this pride was slipping away due to the growing influence and domination of foreigners. Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last royal descendant of Kamehameha the Great, recognized this and bequeathed her estate for the creation of a school to educate people of Hawaiian ancestry. It was founded in 1887.

Today, Kamehameha Schools is the largest private landowner in Hawaii, enrolling about 5,500 students from preschool through grade 12 on its three main campuses and other locations. This also makes it the largest independent school in the United States.

In-plant Boosts Hawaiian Pride

Silva feels the in-plant plays an important role in furthering the mission of the school. Not only does it produce educational program brochures, curriculum materials, books and other items that help the school educate native Hawaiian children, it helps build the pride of those children with some of the products it prints.

"One of the ways that DPS is able to help instill pride among KS students is by providing a resource that can showcase who native Hawaiian children are and what they can do, through print," Silva explains. "One of the publications that DPS handles is the high school literary journal called Ho'okumu. This journal contains pictures of students' artwork and creative writing, both fiction and non-fiction. The circulation is 500, printed in full color and perfect bound."

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