Logan Ford has long studied the various cultures and traditions of Hawaii, but he had never attempted to learn the language until this year.
"I have researched so much about other things related to Hawaii, so I figured my next step would be learning the language," said Logan, a senior at Harlem High School.
The language-learning project is aligned with Logan's senior project, which all high school seniors must complete and present before a panel of judges for grading.
Logan's interest in Hawaii has grown from his direct ancestry to the island - his father is Hawaiian, although he has never known him.
"The hardest thing I could think of was finding someone who knew the language," said Logan, the son of Dennis and Leslie Brunsting, of Grovetown.
"I didn't find anyone, so I'm learning from books."
Juliana Boatwright, an English teacher at Harlem High, said Logan has compensated for not having a mentor help him with his project.
"He has done a lot of things online and with tapes, so it has been mostly self-directed and self-paced," said Boatwright. "His ultimate goal is to learn the culture and the language well enough to write a short children's story, which is no small task."
Logan's short story, in its final stages, is about a small child asking where everything came from.
He says it has a Christian theme and is translated into Hawaiian with English subtext.
"I kept the story simple," said Logan, who is a member of Vineyard Community Church in Augusta. He also is a member of the band Tearing from Inside, in which he is the bass player, and is a member of the school's clay club.
Crowned the school's homecoming king this school year, Logan said the Hawaiian language is something he'd like to someday pass on to his children.
"I think his dedication to the project and his creativity make him ideally suited for this kind of work. I'm excited to see the final product," Boatwright said. "I can't say much about the product yet because it's not due until next week, but he did a fine job on the research paper and learned a great deal about the Hawaiian culture."
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