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Grant Funds Learning Program

Kualapu`u School News Release

Kualapu`u School has received a three-year, $50,000 a year, grant from the Pillars of Peace Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation. The grant will sustain and improve Kualapu`u School’s implementation of “Getting Along Together,” a school-wide social and emotional learning program that helps children manage their behavior, develop empathy and compassion, build positive social relationships, and understand and cope with their feelings.

Last year, Kualapu`u School also received a grant from the Pillars of Peace Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation to fully implement this program. By the end of the school year, children knew techniques to solve problems with classmates and ways to “cool off” and manage anger-related emotions.

“We have begun to see positive changes in behavior, better use of problem solving conversations, reduced discipline incidents, and improved feelings of safety from bullying among our children,” said Principal Lydia Trinidad.

With this new grant, Kualapu`u School will fine-tune its “Getting Along Together” program in all classrooms and on the playground. Most importantly, the school will focus on prevention: creating a school culture where children feel safe and supported and learn what it means to be a friend. The funding will support training for school staff, including staff members with playground duty; parent workshops; a part-time assistant; and a Boys’ Group Counselor. The funding will also partially support the School Counselor and the Art Teacher; the School Counselor is focusing part of her work on integrating Social Emotional Learning throughout the school, and the Art Teacher is working on interactive art that promotes kindness, gratitude, and empathy.

“I’m excited about this grant,” said Geneva Castro’Lichtenstein, Kualapu`u School’s Counselor, “because it allows me to work closely with teachers, staff and parents. Not only will we work on how we can help individual students, but on how we can improve our school as a whole.”

With support from this grant, Kualapu`u students, teachers, and staff have already been making positive changes to their daily routines and classrooms. Student support groups will start soon.

For more information, contact Trinidad at (808) 567-6900.

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