East Hawaii News

$8.6M Awarded by DOE for Native Hawaiian Education

September 15, 2015, 3:30 PM HST
* Updated September 15, 3:36 PM
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The United States Department of Education has awarded $8,610,632 in federal grants to support Native Hawaiian education.

Eleven education projects aimed to improve academic achievement, strengthen early childhood literacy and readiness programs, assist homeless families, and foster mentorship and academic support programs will include every county in the state.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a member of the four person congressional delegation who made the announcement Tuesday, says that supporting Native Hawaiian education is an investment in the next generation of Native Hawaiians.

“I recently traveled across Hawai’i and visited with students, parents, and teachers whose lives have been impacted greatly by the Native Hawaiian Education Act’s grants and programs,” Congresswoman Gabbard said. “This funding will continue to build and strengthen important education partnerships between families, schools, and communities while preserving the rich and unique culture, language, and values of Hawaii’s native people.”

According to Senator Brian Schatz, the funds will be used to expand and strengthen Native Hawaiian programs in Hawai’i from pre-K through college.

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“The 11 programs supported by these grants address the unique educational needs of Native Hawaiian students by using culturally relevant materials and curricula,” said Senator Schatz. “In Hawai‘i, we have seen how these Native Hawaiian education programs can make a real difference in student achievement.  That’s why I am working to make sure we continue to make investments in Native Hawaiian education programs and give more students a better shot at success.”

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As part of the core of the state’s identity, Senator Mazie Hirono says that she believes that students should have the opportunity to learn Native Hawaiian traditions in a culturally-appropriate way.

“This funding ensures that organizations that provide Native Hawaiian focused learning programs have the resources they need to improve achievement of Native Hawaiian students, reach rural communities, and expand Hawaiian language and cultural education,” said Hirono.

Congressman Mark Takai says that the grants will help Native Hawaiian children to excel in school and gain the knowledge they need to succeed.

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“It is critical that our keiki, especially those in underserved communities, be afforded every opportunity to grow and expand their educational opportunities. I would like to extend a warm mahalo to the U.S. Department of Education for recognizing the unique challenges that the Native Hawaiian community faces and for taking action to help address this situation,” Takai said.

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