P-20 Initiative Awards Eight Grants to Increase Student Achievement in Hawaii

$180,000 dedicated to early childhood education, kindergarten readiness, and collaborative learning projects across the state

University of Hawaiʻi
Kathy Jaycox, (808) 956-7678
Hawaii P-20 Initiative
Kate Wester, (808) 956-9095
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Jan 27, 2004

The Hawaiʻi P-20 Initiative, a joint education project of the University of Hawaiʻi (UH), the Department of Education (DOE), and the Good Beginnings Alliance, has awarded $180,000 to eight collaborative learning efforts throughout the state. The awards were made to innovative partnerships that have demonstrated an ability to work with their communities in order to improve the quality of education.

"When I originally proposed the P-20 initiative in July of 2001 as a vehicle to improve student achievement at every level, I was confident that UH, DOE, and Good Beginnings Alliance would be able to create a new way of approaching education to meet the challenges facing our students," said UH President Evan Dobelle. "The distribution of these awards is proof we are well on our way to achieving the vision of a seamless education system that serves all the people of Hawaiʻi."

In July 2003, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation validated the Hawaiʻi P-20 Initiative by awarding the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation (UHF) a $500,000 planning grant to lay the ground work to secure additional public and private resources. The P-20 Council, the initiative‘s leadership body, dedicated $90,000 of this amount for competitive grants. The trustees of the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation then generously offered to match the $90,000, increasing the total amount for competitive grants to $180,000. The Castle Foundation‘s contribution has been specifically earmarked to support pre-K and kindergarten programs.

"The Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation is extremely pleased with the opportunity to further the Hawaiʻi P-20 educational reform effort," said Al Castle, president of the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation. "We saw a chance to leverage the Kellogg Foundation‘s planning grant while helping our early educators to advance school readiness and transition to elementary schools."

"Resources from national foundations and local funders like the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation have allowed us to support the work of schools and communities and search for models that work," said Good Beginnings Alliance Executive Director Liz Chun. "I am especially pleased by the support provided to projects focused on improvements in the school readiness of Hawaiʻi‘s young children. With over half of our keiki entering kindergarten up to two years behind, improving school readiness is a responsibility shared by parents, communities, schools, teachers and policymakers."

The request for proposals for the competitive grants was issued in October 2003 and a total of 35 applications were received seeking more than $750,000. Eight collaborative learning efforts were selected:

· $25,000 — DOE Consortium of Eight Model High Schools

o "Instructional Design Training for the First Cadre of SLC 9th Grade Teachers," a training session for teachers participating in the Smaller Learning Communities Project, an effort to address the difficult transition of 9th graders to high school.

· $25,000 — GEAR UP Hawaiʻi at UH Mānoa

o "Reading and Writing Together In and Out of Middle School," an initiative to increase the coherence of curriculum and expectations of quality student work to improve student achievement.

· $25,000 — Kealakehe Elementary School

o "Transitions to Kindergarten," a program at Kealakehe Elementary School led by a partnership of stakeholders working to ease the transition to kindergarten for both children and parents through various programs and events, outreach activities, capacity building, and staff development.

· $25,000 — UH Center on the Family

o "Promoting School Readiness and Successful Kindergarten Transitions for At-Risk Children," a program serving families in the Kalihi area designed to enhance school readiness and promote successful kindergarten transitions for at-risk children.

· $24,000 — UH Mānoa Service Learning Program

o "Preparing the Palolo Pipeline," a collaborative initiative of area colleges working to address the Palolo community‘s educational needs, and expanding activities to also focus on early literacy, English as a Second Language, and building sustainable partnerships.

· $23,900 — Tech Prep Hawaiʻi

o "Improving Student Achievement and Transition," a project that addresses easing the transition of students from high school to community college and reducing remediation at the community college.

· $16,600 — UH Community College‘s Consortium on Early Childhood Education Programs

o "Early Childhood Baccalaureate Degree," a partnership of UH campuses and programs working to complete the design and planning for a baccalaureate degree in early childhood education that is accessible statewide.

· $15,300 — Family Support Services of West Hawaiʻi

o "Na Pua Liko," a literacy project designed to support parent-child interactions that build on and go beyond those centered on books and book-reading, which will provide materials and training to agencies throughout the state who wish to implement the project in their areas.

"I am pleased with the diversity of DOE undertakings being supported by funds from the Kellogg Foundation and the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation," said DOE Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto. "These projects are great examples of how we can ensure the advancement and success of our students through effective collaboration amongst DOE schools, teachers, parents and community organizations. These grant funds are providing the tools to move P-20 from vision to reality in the state of Hawaiʻi."

"The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation and its Board of Trustees is extremely pleased to be able to support the Hawaiʻi P-20 Initiative and its important work to improve student achievement throughout Hawaiʻi," said UH Foundation President Betsy Sloane. "We look forward to following the progress of this statewide initiative and working with its leadership to seek additional support from local and national philanthropies."

UH, DOE and the Good Beginnings Alliance officially established the Hawaiʻi P-20 Initiative in October 2002 to put forth their vision for improving student achievement at all levels of education in the state. Their goal is to provide a seamless education system to ensure successful lifelong learning for all students. P-20, a term created to represent a child‘s educational progression from pre-school and before to graduate school and beyond, calls for a collaborative effort amongst the partners with a focus on improving the knowledge and skills of Hawaiʻi‘s students.

For more information, visit: http://p20.hawaii.org