The University of Hawaiʻi will receive three Native Hawaiian Education Grant awards totaling almost $1.8 million a year from the U.S. Department of Education for an anticipated three years. Total funding over three years, contingent on program funding by congress, is almost $5.4 million. The annual awards are:
- $386,876—Hawaiʻi Positive Engagement Project (H-PEP), Co-Principal Investigators Associate Professor Jean Johnson and Assistant Specialist Naomi Rombaoa Tanaka with UH Mānoa’s Center on Disability Studies
- $620,068—Ka Waihona o ka Kaʻauao, Place-based Learning and Community Engagement in School (PLACES), Principal Investigator Kay Fukuda, specialist for Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity (SEED) at UH Mānoa
- $781,739—Place-based Learning and Community Engagement in School (PLACES) at Nānākuli Intermediate and High School, Principal Investigator Kay Fukuda, specialist for Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity (SEED) at UH Mānoa
UH President David Lassner said, “These awards are a testament to our amazing faculty and staff on our campuses whose work advances the University of Hawaiʻi as a foremost indigenous serving institution. We are grateful to our congressional delegation for their strong continuing support and we thank Regent David Iha, who was instrumental in working with the late Senator Inouye and his office to establish the Native Hawaiian Education programs that are so important to Hawaiʻi today.”
The Native Hawaiian Education Grant awards will be used as follows:
- Hawaiʻi Positive Engagement Project (H-PEP)
This project will provide early educators with training on strategies to improve school readiness. UH Mānoa and six contracted partners plan to serve 350 preschool educators, their 3,500 at-risk preschool students and 300 parents over three years. Participants will be recruited from networks with high percentages of Native Hawaiians such as the Waiʻanae Ark of Safety, early intervention groups and from UH Mānoa’s extensive network of programs and community partnerships. H-PEP will serve educators and parents in at least 20 sites statewide.
- Ka Waihona o ka Kaʻauao, Place-based Learning and Community Engagement in School (PLACES)
This project will serve an elementary through middle school Hawaiian focus public charter school that has a 95 percent Native Hawaiian student population. The project will support academic achievement at the school using a place-based cultural projects approach to student learning, teacher professional development and community involvement.
- Place-based Learning and Community Engagement in School (PLACES) at Nānākuli Intermediate and High School
Teachers and students in grades 7 to 12 will be served by this grant through the connection and relevance of ʻāina and community to teaching and learning. Outcomes include increasing the high school graduation and college-going rates; positive identities as learners, student and teacher connections to community wealth and the engagement of community with teaching and learning.
—By Kelli Trifonovitch