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Kualapu`u School Receives $50K Grant

Ho`okako`o and Kualapu`u School News Release

Hawaiian Airlines Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to Kualapu`u Public Conversion Charter School for two new projects essential to the educational achievement of its students: Project Kuka`Ike STEM Education Program and Project Kuakupono Student Support Services Program.

Project Kuka`Ike STEM Education Program is a school-wide initiative to expand STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) for students in Kindergarten through sixth grades. According to Sue Forbes, the school’s Math and Science Curriculum Coordinator, “The goal is to prepare teachers to provide a robust, hands-on STEM education with a focus on the environment and agriculture that the children of Molokai can easily relate to, and which significantly improves their achievement in math and science.”

With the island’s high unemployment and limited resources, and with 84 percent of the school’s student body considered low income, Kualapu`u students and other children on Molokai face unique challenges impacting their education. The school’s new Project Kuakupono Student Support Services Program was developed to close gaps in student support services through a coordinated, school-wide continuum of culturally-competent prevention and intervention services, faculty training in student support, and family outreach and community referrals.

“It’s a real honor to be one of Hawaiian Airlines Foundation inaugural grantees,” says Lydia Trinidad, Kualapu`u Principal. “We feel strongly that an early support and intervention system helps to build a solid foundation for the future of our children as they move through the middle and high school ages.

Trinidad added that Hawaiian Airlines’ support makes it possible for the school to enhance the services it can offer to our students and their families during these times of economic challenges facing our school and our community.

Kualapu`u School serves 330 students in Pre-K through 6th grade of which 92 percent are of Hawaiian ancestry and 84 percent are low income. As Molokai’s only accredited elementary school, only charter school, and only elementary Hawaiian language immersion school, Kualapu`u is an invaluable educational resource for the island’s early learners.

For more information about Kualapu`u School or how to support Project Kuka`Ike STEM Education Program and Project Kuakupono Student Support Services Program, contact David Y. Gibson, Development Director, at (808) 983-3830 or dgibson@hookakoo.org.

Ho`okako`o Corporation, a non‐profit, charter management organization and governing school board in Hawaii, operates a network of high quality, Hawaiian-focused charter schools, including Kualapu`u School, serving over 1,500 children in Pre-K through 12th grade from high-need communities on Oahu, Molokai and Hawaii Island.

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