Native Hawaiian education programs get boost from federal funds

KAILUA-KONA — More than $2.2 million is headed to support Native Hawaiian education programs on Hawaii Island.

Kailua-Kona based nonprofit Laiopua 2020 will receive $818,051 to improve academic performance for more than 1,250 students in West Hawaii, according to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). An additional $835,259 is headed to Waimea-based Friends of the Future to improve education for over 1,400 Hawaii Island students.

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Also receiving funding is Partners in Development Foundation, a Honolulu-based nonprofit with offices in Kailua-Kona, the senator announced. The foundation is slated to receive $621,994 to fund the Pili A Paa expansion project, which is focused on Native Hawaiian students in kindergarten through grade 12 on Hawaii Island.

The funding is among $7.5 million in funding being awarded by the U.S. Department of Education for Native Hawaiian programs statewide, Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Monday.

“Over the past few decades, the Native Hawaiian community has developed innovative ways to revitalize the Hawaiian language and integrate culture with education,” Schatz said in a prepared statement. “This investment will give us more resources to help children reach their full potential in school and beyond.”

This funding is awarded through DOE’s Native Hawaiian Education Program.

Other programs receiving funding include:

• Maui Family Support Services will receive $783,973 to help prepare Native Hawaiian children for kindergarten and reduce the risk of child abuse.

• The Bishop Museum will receive $231,150 to create an internship program at the museum that provides Native Hawaiian students and teachers STEM-related activities and experiences.

• Hookakoo Corporation in Honolulu will receive $223,340 to improve the English and Hawaiian literacy of more than 600 students at the kindergarten to grade three levels.

• The state Department of Education will receive $604,729 to improve Native Hawaiian education at the Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area on Oahu.

• The University of Hawaii will receive $1,041,375 to create a Hawaiian immersion summer camp for more than 120 students.

• The University of Hawaii will receive $682,271 to increase Native Hawaiian enrollment in post-secondary education and certification programs.

• The University of Hawaii will receive $630,588 to fund literacy-focused education programs for pre-k through third graders and prepare more high school students for jobs in STEM.

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• The University of Hawaii will receive $700,000 to address the needs of more than 1,600 at-risk Native Hawaiian students.

• The University of Hawaii will receive $329,790 to foster and promote STEM engagement among sixth and seventh graders.