Wai`anae Program for Afterschool Literacy Support receives $1.78 million

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Dec 16, 2009

Dr. Kay Fukuda
Dr. Kay Fukuda
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa recently received a three-year grant of $1.78 million to implement a high quality, culturally relevant place based after-school literacy program in schools with a predominant Native Hawaiian population on the Wai`anae Coast. The Wai`anae Program for Afterschool Literacy Support, or W-PALS is a unit under the office of Student Equity Excellence and Diversity (SEED) at UH Mānoa.
The project will serve five elementary schools on the Wai`anae coast: Kamaile Charter School, Leihoku, Ma`ili, Makaha and Wai`anae.   Students in grades 4-6 will engage in hands-on after school activities and focus on a curriculum based on their sense of place and culture.  Project objectives also include providing training on place-based curriculum, improving teaching skills for participating tutors, and fostering strong school and community partnerships. By the end of the three year program, two hundred ten students and thirty adult tutors are predicted to have been served by W-PALS.
The W-PALS current project will be directed by Dr. Kay Fukuda who has been involved with the 2006-2009 PALS. In 2008, PALS was selected as “a promising practice” for educating Native Hawaiian children by Nā Lau Lama, a statewide collaboration made up of over seventy organizations. The preliminary success of the project indicated that more work is needed to further explore the strategies PALS developed in coordinating partnerships with parents and teachers, the schools students are enrolled in and the communities where students live.
The continuation of the project over the next three years will again focus on academic outcomes while also taking a more holistic emphasis that will involve families and transform teacher education.