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Harold K. L. Castle Foundation awards $1.179 million to Hawaii P-20

University of Hawaiʻi
Amalia Bueno, (808) 956-4303
Communications Manager
Carl Takamura, (808) 956-5551
Sr. Associate for External Affairs
Posted: May 21, 2008

The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation announced today that its Board of Directors had approved a $1.179 million award to the Hawaii P-20 Initiative. The 3-year grant is intended to assist the young and vigorous public education reform organization meet its bold goals, which include ensuring that:

- 55 percent of working-age adults in Hawaii have a college degree by 2025; and

- Every child is reading at grade level by 3rd grade

Mitch D'Olier, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer, stated that the Hawaiʻi P-20 Initiative has "already shown great promise, achieving a significant policy breakthrough in its first year when it pushed for the Board of Education to approve a new, more rigorous Board Recognition Diploma whose requirements were drawn by P-20 as recommended by the American Diploma Project."

D'Olier added that Hawaiʻi P-20 is "uniquely qualified to lead this effort." He noted that because P-20 is a partnership of the Department of Education, University of Hawaiʻi, elected officials, early childhood education, independent schools (K-12 and higher education), and business and community organizations, it is "poised to facilitate discussion and changes needed to raise educational outcomes for Hawaiʻi."

Tammi Oyadomori-Chun, Hawaiʻi P-20 Executive Director, recognized the critical role of the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation. "Their early angel support enabled the Hawaiʻi P-20 Initiative to take root. We have already been able to take significant steps, dovetailing with the Kellogg Foundation's $10 million support of P-3, our early literacy program and, our federal grant for GEAR UP, in addressing Hawaiʻi's educational pipeline and achievement gap issues," she said.

The Foundation's Executive Director, Terry George, said that the Foundation's substantial commitment should continue to build the capacity of P-20, enabling them to "enlarge their grassroots and policy footprint. P-20 can bring on more staff, develop and implement a comprehensive communications strategy, institute a more rigorous monitoring and evaluation system, secure additional long-term funding, and accumulate other needed resources."

George pointed out, however, that while the funding award significantly expands P-20's capacity, P-20 must do more. "It must persuade the various stakeholders that it is here to stay. Otherwise, its effectiveness as a catalyst for change will be limited."

Hawaiʻi P-20 Initiative is a statewide community partnership led by the University of Hawaiʻi, the Department of Education, and the Good Beginnings Alliance that is dedicated to creating a seamless educational pipeline for Hawaiʻi's students. Their projects currently include GEAR UP, P-3, the American Diploma Project, and longitudinal data collection.

Founded in 1962, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation works to build resources for Hawaiʻi's future. The foundation invests in promising initiatives and organizations by awarding grants and introducing and expanding new ideas and approaches to help solve some of Hawaiʻi's most pressing problems.