Activities

Free Program Helps Big Island Residents Change Their Communities

June 30, 2022, 7:30 AM HST
* Updated June 29, 1:32 PM
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(Courtesy of Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network)

A Hawaiʻi nonprofit is offering Big Island residents free training to get the tools and knowledge to make positive changes in their communities.

Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network is now accepting online applications for its free 20-week Hawaiʻi Parent Leadership Training Institute, which helps participants develop leadership, communication and advocacy skills. The program is the only one of its kind in the state.

“Parents, caregivers and residents statewide know the challenges facing their neighborhoods, schools and communities,” Deborah Zysman, executive director of Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network, said in a press release. “Each year, we’re so inspired by the participants that come out of (the Parent Leadership Training Institute) and generate impactful solutions for their communities.”

Participants identify issues that impact children and practice their new skills by completing hands-on projects in their communities.

“It’s so important that parents, caregivers and families can effectively use their voices and influence the laws, policies and systems that affect their children and communities,” Mele Andrade, Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network’s director of family engagement and training, said in the press release. “By increasing civic engagement, we can improve outcomes for Hawaiʻi’s children and communities.”

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There will be a virtual program available statewide this year, along with in-person programs available on Maui and Oʻahu, starting in September. All community members who are passionate about the welfare of children are encouraged to learn more and apply by clicking here.

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Since 2015, the Hawaiʻi Parent Leadership Training Institute has trained more than 95 people on the Big Island, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu and Maui. The institute is organized by Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network, which is dedicated to ensuring that all keiki are safe, healthy and ready to learn.

The evidence-based curriculum is provided by the National Parent Leadership Institute.

The program is supported by local and national funders, including the state Department of Health, City and County of Honolulu, Alliance for Early Success, Aloha United Way, Family Values @ Work, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, HT Hayashi Foundation, McInerny Foundation and Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation.

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