‘Aloha Always Wins’ children’s program, book fights bullying in over 300 Hawai‘i schools
With a spike in school violence & bullying in the Aloha State, a local non-profit is bringing education and solutions to schools.
The “Choose Aloha” Program is simple: It teaches keiki (children) to choose love, not hate, bullying, self-harm or suicidal ideation. The curriculum is required by Hawaii’s Department of Education and it’s free.
Now, in addition to the S.E.L. (Social Emotional Learning) curriculum and school rallies, there are also local children’s books to help advance the message.
“Prevention is one of the most effective & preferred solutions for bullying,” said Aloha Ambassador Dawn O’Brien, who spearheads Choose Aloha. “If we can ‘vaccinate’ our keiki against bullying before it happens, we’re more likely to stop it. Our local children’s books also give educators, parents, and community members a safe space to start the conversation in a non-threatening, comfortable way.”
Over 300 schools in Hawai‘i have the Choose Love curriculum created by a mother who lost her son in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. It’s spread to all 50 states in America and over 120 countries.
Hawai‘i is the state that has most adoption of the program in the most schools.
“But of course, we’re the Aloha State! Love is our first name and our identity,” said O’Brien, or “Aunty Dawn” as she’s known in many elementary schools where Choose Aloha videos are used in classrooms.
There are two children’s books in the Aloha series: first, “Aloha Allova: A Sacred Secret to Save the Day,” released in August 2022, and a new release, “Aloha Always Wins!”, which focuses on bullying.
It’s sold on Amazon.com and in local bookstores.