Office of Hawaiian Affairs awards grant funds to project to be implemented at Waimea Middle School

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A Big Island school is one of two in the state that will benefit from grant funds from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Hoʻokākoʻo Corporation will implement its Ke Awa Ho‘omalu (Safe Harbor) project at Waimea Middle School on Hawai’i Island and Kualapuʻu School on Molokaʻi. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs recently awarded the organization a $220,000 education grant for the project from its Community Grant program.

Waimea Middle School (file photo)

The two-year grant will be used to increase access to Hawaiian culture-based educational, behavioral and mental health services for Native Hawaiian children and their families at both schools.

“We’ve all heard of the learning-loss our keiki have suffered due to disruptions to their education caused by the pandemic,” David Gibson, executive director of Hoʻokākoʻo Corporation, said in a press release. “And while it is essential that we provide opportunities that address their academic needs going forward, we recognize that many children are also struggling with severe personal and emotional challenges caused by stressors on their families, financial losses, health issues and an overall lack of resources within our Native Hawaiian communities.”


The Ke Awa Hoʻomalu project will provide Native Hawaiian schoolchildren and their families with needed wrap-around services that support the students’ academic and social-emotional development by building and strengthening partnerships between ‘ohana, kula and kaialu (community). The goal of the project is to help families identify and use the available expertise and resources within their schools and communities that not only help students succeed but also enhance the overall well-being of Native Hawaiian families.

The project will provide Hawaiian culture-based counseling, case management, referral, tutoring and other services and supports aimed at improving student achievement and functioning.


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