Education Fund Benefits Molokai Students
By Barbara Haliniak
As a board member of the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), I would like to spotlight the significance of the Ke Alahele Education Fund to Molokai. To date, MEDB has awarded over $90,000 to our schools and educational projects to help educators, students and special programs expand skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.
This is an excellent avenue to fund Molokai schools and student projects, especially during this time with the DOE budget cuts.
Each year, board members are tasked to solicit past and new donors to keep the fund solid and available. The focus of fundraising efforts is the annual Ke Alahele Education Fund event held every August. Because Molokai is economically challenged, my network of donors is principally off-island companies and corporations. It is important to our economic future that we do our best to provide the needed tools for our children and emerging workforce to become successful. My main focus is to seek out opportunities through networking and involvement to facilitate these kinds of successes and I invite you to join in this important drive.
In addition, through the efforts and leadership of the Board, MEDB administers federal grants that target STEM education and development that have deployed at least $350,000 over the last five years to support STEM programs on Molokai. These grants have provided equipment, professional development for educators, and transportation costs for students and educators, among other purposes. MEDB’s STEMworks program, which replaces Project EAST, will continue to engage and empower the students of Molokai to become our future STEM professionals.
We all know that grant writing can be laborious. So, please join me in thanking and acknowledging the following school and programs for giving of their time to write these grants that support the process of educating our future generation and young leaders.
The following schools have been awarded grants between 2006 – 2011 and continue to utilize the Ke Alahele Education Fund for their STEM projects: Kaunakakai Elementary, Kilohana Elementary, Molokai High, Molokai Middle, Molokai Complex Schools, Huli Au Ola, Maui County Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Ho`okuleana Molokai Papini Innovations, and Alaka`ina Digital Bus on Molokai Training Program.
For more information on Molokai’s projects funded by MEDB’s Ke Alahele Education Fund, or how to become a partner, please visit www.medb.org/KeAlahele/annualevent.