• Follow on Facebook

  • puako-general-store
  • air-tour-kauai
  • what-to-do-media
  • RSS W2DM

  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • Say When

    October 2016
    S M T W T F S
    « Sep    
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

‘Ohana Health Plan Donates Fans to Help Maui Kids Stay Cool in School

Although a recent addition to the Maui Waena Intermediate School includes nine air-conditioned classrooms, many of the school’s 1,100 students are still in rooms with little relief from the Maui heat. To help create a better educational environment for all students, ‘Ohana Health Plan, a WellCare Health Plans, Inc. company, today presented 40 tower and mini fans to the school.

ohana-health-plan-logo‘Ohana representatives were joined at the ceremony by Lt. Governor Shan S. Tsutsui and State Representative Justin Woodson (D-9).

“There is a significant relationship between education and health. We thank Rep. Woodson for recognizing this and connecting ‘Ohana to a school in need,” said Scott Sivik, market vice president at ‘Ohana Health Plan. “The best learning takes place in comfortable settings, and we are honored to help create an environment at Maui Waena that helps every student have the opportunity to succeed.”

“I would like to thank ‘Ohana Health Plan for taking the initiative to engage with the community to help fill needs that assist students in the classroom and beyond,” said Rep. Woodson.

“A big mahalo to ‘Ohana Health Plan for its generous fan donation to Maui Waena and for recognizing that it’s important for members of the community to pitch in to help create a conducive learning environment for our students,” said Lt. Governor Tsutsui.  “I’d also like to thank ‘Ohana Health Plan for becoming a partner in other initiatives that support the overall health and well-being of our keiki, such as the R.E.A.C.H. Initiative.”

“I want to thank ‘Ohana Health Plan for its generous donation and really appreciate the community support of our school. It helps with student learning,” said Jamie Yap, principal at Maui Waena Intermediate School.

As of June 30, 2016, ‘Ohana Health Plan has more than 230 employees in Hawaii and serves approximately 57,000 members through its offices in Kapolei, Honolulu, Hilo and Kahului.

Hawaii Wildlife Fund Releases New Marine Debris Prevention Curriculum for Elementary School Students

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (HWF) is excited to announce the release of our new marine debris prevention curriculum designed for elementary school students around Hawaiʻi.

hwf-kidsOver the past two school years, HWF mentors piloted this curriculum in 20 public schools working with over 52 different teachers and 1,140 students (grade kindergarten to 5th).  HWF mentors worked with students at schools around Hawaiʻi Island: in Kona, Kohala, Kaʻū, Hāmākua, Hilo, and Puna.

beach-clean-up-hwfThe “Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach” program teaches children about:

  • Understanding aquatic life and ecosystems (basic marine biology concepts)
  • Marine debris and how land-based litter sources find their way into the sea
  • Exploring what a “discard” really is and how our daily choices affect the amount of trash we produce
  • Vulnerability of island ecosystems and communities and the responsibility (kuleana) that we each have to protect them.

The curriculum was designed as a 3-visit program that challenged students to put forward innovative solutions to this global marine-debris problem.  The lessons are aligned with all Common Core and Next Generation Science and other benchmarks relevant to the elementary school level.

innovations-posterAll of the lessons and activities are available for free download from the HWF website or at the following link: http://wildhawaii.org/MDKEO/Su mmaryTeacherEdition.pdf

“It was a great pleasure guest teaching in the many different classrooms around the island.  We look forward to deepening our relationships with Hawaiʻi Island students and teachers in the coming years” said HWF mentor and Education Coordinator, Stacey Breining.


In addition, nine cleanup events were conducted as an optional follow-up component of this program (6 beach cleanups, 2 stream cleanups, 1 campus cleanup).   During these nine cleanup events, 286 students participated in removing over 1,500 lbs. of marine and land-based debris items from the coastline, stream banks, or their campus.

Please contact HWF at marine.debris.KEO@gmail.com or 808-769-7629 for more information or visit the HWF website (www.wildhawaii.org).

Kaiser High Hosts Cultural Exchange With Students From Japan

Kaiser High’s gymnasium was filled anticipation and excitement this morning as the school welcomed more than 300 students from Hokkaido Sapporo Intercultural & Technological High School (HSITHS). The visitors arrived for cultural exchange activities, which included musical performances, speeches and traditional Japanese dance demonstrations.

kaiser-elementary2Before the assembly started sophomore Noah Matsumoto said, “I’m looking forward to meeting the students from Hokkaido. I’m Japanese and have never been to Japan, so it’ll be interesting to have a chance to talk with them and learn about their culture and be able to teach them about ours.”

kaiser-elementary3The group comprised of 13 dignitaries from Hokkaido including Vice Governor Yoshihiro Yamaya who presented a gift to Principal Justin Mew and shared his goal of increasing educational opportunities between Hokkaido and Hawaii.

“Sharing music is a wonderful way to showcase any culture,” said Principal Mew. “We were honored to be able to make our visitors feel welcomed this morning by having our Kaiser High band play the Hokkaido school song to conclude the assembly. It was heartwarming to hear their song and our alma mater played with such pride in front of a packed gym.”

MCLC at Kaiser High.

MCLC at Kaiser High.

Following the assembly, students spread out in small groups throughout the campus to discuss a variety of topics such as Foreign Studies, Science, Engineering, and Global Business. The students also discussed pop culture.

“I was really excited to talk to the students from Hokkaido about fashion,” said sophomore Grailee Caldwell. “This was an incredible opportunity and experience because we were able to meet with them one-on-one and really get to talk about our similarities and differences, like our high school experiences.”

This morning’s cultural exchange was part of ongoing efforts to establish a Sister-State agreement between Hokkaido and Hawaii in 2017. It will be the fifth prefecture in Japan to establish a formal relationship with the State.

The Hokkaido students will be in Hawaii until Oct. 23. Their only school visit was with Kaiser High because of the school’s prestigious International Baccalaureate accreditation.

For more information about Kaiser High School, visit www.kaiserhighschoolhawaii.org. Information about the State of Hawaii’s current Sister-States is available at http://bit.ly/2ed14Sl.

Donations Secured to Replace Kids Stolen Laptops

Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz  secured donations to help in replacing some of the 27 Chromebooks that were taken in a burglary at Wahiawa Middle School last month. Sen. Dela Cruz and the Leilehua Alumni and Community Association will be launching a fundraising drive to raise additional funds to replace the remaining stolen items.

chromebookThe computers that were stolen are needed for a proper learning environment. Sen. Dela Cruz, who is an alumnus of Wahiawa Middle, wanted to act quickly so students would not be without the computers for a long period.

“As schools move forward with an education based in science, technology, engineering, and math, the right equipment is vital to building their skills,” said Sen. Dela Cruz. “The Leilehua Alumni and Community Association will play a critical role as schools make this transition. Whether it be donating computers or receiving grants for educational programs, the Association exists to assist all schools in the Leilehua complex.”

Additional Chromebooks, along with a MacBook Pro laptop, and an LCD projector are still needed. The Leilehua Alumni and Community Association is asking the community to make a small donation so they can continue to support our students. More information on the fundraising drive is forthcoming.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Honolulu Police Department. Police are still seeking leads on the suspects wanted for the burglary.

Kids Halloween Party Moved to Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it has moved the Halloween Hilo Kids Party from Pana‘ewa Park to Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium located at 350 Kalanikoa Street in Hilo.

halloween-partyOpen to all ages, the free event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 31.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the venue change might cause and thanks the public for its understanding to utilize a different venue with more parking to accommodate the large number of participants.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or Jason.Armstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Hilo Elks Drug Awareness Contests Announced

The Drug Awareness Program of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) is dedicated to preventing the use of illicit drugs by the youth of our country as well as informing them of the dangers caused by the use of legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. As part of the program, Hilo Elks Lodge is inviting east Hawaii youth to send in their submissions to the Drug Awareness Poster, Essay, and Video contests.

just-say-noThe theme for this year’s contests is “Just Say No”. The following is information about each contest.


  • All students in the 3rd to 5th grades are eligible to participate.
  • Poster size is 8.5” x 11”. Posters should be grammatically correct.
  • Use of copyrighted characters on the poster, except Elroy the Elk, is prohibited. All entries will become the property of BPOE.
  • Posters are judged based on the theme, originality, neatness, grammar, and without copyrighted characters (except Elroy).
  • Judging goes through local lodge (Hilo), district (Hawaii State), and state (California-Hawaii) levels. State winning poster will be submitted for entry into the National Elks contest and for inclusion in the Elks Drug Awareness Program Coloring Book.


  • All students in the 6th, 7th, & 8th grades are eligible to participate.
  • Essays are to be 250 words or less and typed, computer generated text, hand written or hand printed on 8.5” x 11” paper.
  • Each Essay must be in a single file folder.
  • Essays are judged based on closeness to the theme, neatness, originality, and correct grammatical structure.
  • Judging will go through local lodge (Hilo), district (Hawaii State), and state (California-Hawaii) levels.


  • Individual or group entries from pre-high school, high school, and post graduate are welcome.
  • Videos should be 2 minutes to 5 minutes long on a flash drive or similar “mobile” media in readable format.
  • Videos should be based on this year’s theme “Just Say No” and have an anti-abuse message or making the right choice (e.g. anti-bullying, etc.)
  • Videos should not depict any copyrighted characters or Trademarks with the exception of “Elroy the Elk”.
  • All video entries will become the property of BPOE.

Judging will be based on closeness to the theme, neatness, originality, age and language appropriateness, positive message, and quality of video.


If selected, submitter will be contacted to fill out consent and waiver forms.

There will be 19 district winners of $100 each. State winners include one 3rd place of $300, one 2nd place of $400, and one 1st place of $500.

For more information, please contact the Hilo Elks Lodge at 935-1717 or email hiloelks@gmail.com.

Temple Children Brings Global Artists, Public Art to Hilo

This week, seven globally renowned artists are on Hawai‘i Island to paint large-scale, sustainability-themed murals throughout Downtown Hilo.
The concerted effort to beautify and revitalize the community is the third public art activation of its kind driven by Temple Children, an arts and sustainability organization that coordinates projects to strengthen communities, promote social and environmental innovation, and incite positive global change.
The public and media are invited to drop by the following locations between Wednesday, October 19 and Saturday, October 21, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to view artists paint live:

  • Hilo Backpacker’s Hostel on Waianuenue Ave // Artists: Rick Hayward and Emily Devers (Brisbane, Australia)
  • Agasa Furniture Store on Ponahawai St // Artist: Yoskay Yamamoto (Toba, Japan)
  • Downtown KTA Super Stores on Keawe St // Artist: Kai Kaulukukui (Puna, Hawai‘i)
  • Former Ebesugawa Flower Shop on Furneaux Ln // Artist: Jet Martinez (Oakland, California)
  • Hana Hou Hilo on Bayfront // Artist: Brandy Serikaku (Hilo, Hawai‘i)
  • Nikisa Properties Building on Ponahawai + Kinoole // Artist: Sam Yong (Auckland, New Zealand)

The public art and sustainability project is made possible with financial support from Novo Painting (Cole and Lisa Palea), OluKai, K. Taniguchi, Ltd., Hana Hou Hilo, Agasa Furniture Store and PUEO.

HPM Building Supply donated Pratt & Lambert paint; ladders and lifts supplied by Takamine Construction; and artist meals donated by Sweet Cane Café, Aloha Mondays and Loved by the Sun. Additional local donations were provided by Moon and Turtle, Big Island Booch, OK Farms, The Locavore Store, Island Naturals and Shark’s Coffee. Onsite support and keiki volunteers provided by Circle of Life Hilo’s Leandra Keuma and local artist Kathleen Kam.
Aside from painting, artists participated in a lo‘i restoration workday in Waipi‘o Valley organized by local non-profit Pōhāhā I Ka Lani. To round out the artists’ stay, Kilauea EcoGuides will lead an educational hike to the lava flow prior to artists’ departure.

The October project is led by Temple Children founders, Miya Tsukazaki and David “MEGGS” Hooke, and Regional Director Ashley Kierkiewicz. It is being documented by Cory S. Martin, a freelance cinematographer, director and editor based in Buffalo, New York.

The murals are expected to be complete by Sunday, October 23.

Hawaii DOE Renames School to Honor Late US Senator Daniel K. Inouye

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) celebrated the renaming of Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School, formerly Hale Kula Elementary, this morning with a special ceremony and unveiling of the school’s multimillion-dollar renovation. The Hawaii State Board of Education approved the renaming earlier this year in honor of the late US Senator and his contributions to public education and military-impacted families and students in Hawaii.

Dignitaries, administrators and students help Sen. Inouye's son, Ken, unveil the new school sign. Photo Credits: Department of Education

Dignitaries, administrators and students help Sen. Inouye’s son, Ken, unveil the new school sign. Photo Credits: Department of Education

“Senator Inouye was a stanch supporter of our public schools, and his commitment to education has resulted in millions of dollars in federal resources for our students,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “It is an honor to name the school after Hawaii’s beloved Senator, and we are proud to be able to carry on his legacy through the work of our administrators, teachers and students.”

Daniel K. Inouye Elementary is located at Schofield Barracks, which was the home the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the unit that Senator Inouye served in during World War II. The school recently underwent a $33.2 million dollar renovation, which was funded largely by the U.S. Department of Defense ($26.6 million) and HIDOE ($6.6 million). The upgrades included a new two-story classroom building, student center, additional classrooms, library-media center, a new covered play court, and facelifts to the administration building and existing classrooms.

“This school has historic ties to Senator Inouye,” Principal Jan Iwase said. “This school was opened in 1959 when Hawaii became a state and Senator Inouye was first elected to Washington. He always cared about education and the military, and this campus is a combination of both.”

Ken Inouye shared that his father would be grateful for the naming of the school adding, “My father would always say that education isn’t just about learning – it’s about transformation.”

The senator’s family donated several items to the school that are featured for students and visitors to see, including Senator Inouye’s Purple Heart, photos and military coins he earned in the military as given while a lawmaker.

Major General Christopher Cavoli praised the renaming of the school stating, “His legacy showed each of us that service is at the heart of a community. I don’t believe there is a more fitting role-model for the students who learn within these walls.”

  Photo #1 The remodeled library is just one part of the multimillion-dollar campus-wide renovation.

Photo #1
The remodeled library is just one part of the multimillion-dollar campus-wide renovation.

The school’s new buildings include state of the art designs that allow for natural lighting, and heat reducing roofing material.

Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School currently services more than 800 students from special education pre-school to fifth grade. For more information about the school, visit http://www.inouye.k12.hi.us/.

Hawaii Preschool Open Doors Application Period Begins Today

The Department of Human Services encourages families to apply for its Preschool Open Doors (POD) program between Monday, September 19 and Monday, October 31, 2016.  Applications received during this period will be considered for preschool participation during January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017.

preschool-open-doorsThis program, which currently serves more than 1,300 children statewide, provides child care subsidies to eligible low- and moderate-income families to pay preschool tuition. POD aims to provide children whose families might otherwise not be able to afford preschool the opportunity to gain essential skills to be successful in school and in life.

To qualify for the program, children must be eligible to enter kindergarten in the 2017-2018 school year (born between August 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012). Families are reminded that a child must be five years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten. Families may choose any one of the 438 State-licensed preschools. Underserved or at-risk children receive priority consideration for the POD program, and funds are limited.

Interested families may request an application beginning Monday, September 19, 2016 from the Department’s POD contractor, PATCH, by visiting www.patchhawaii.org or calling 791-2130 or toll free 1-800-746-5620.  PATCH can also help families locate a preschool convenient for them.

Applications must be received by October 31, 2016 to be considered during the January 1, 2017-June 30, 2017 program period. Applications should be dropped off, mailed, or faxed to the following:

560 N. Nimitz Hwy, Suite 218
Honolulu, HI 96817
Fax: (808) 694-3066

Eligibility and priorities for POD program selection are detailed in HAR §17-799, which is available online at humanservices.hawaii.gov/admin-rules-2/admin-rules-for-programs. For more information about other DHS programs and services, visit humanservices.hawaii.gov

“Sea to Sky” – Rebuilding Hōkūalaka’i

A free youth event called “Sea to Sky” will be held this weekend.  This event is designed to bring different aspects of our island together with the common purpose of rebuilding the voyaging canoe, Hōkūalaka’i.  The Hōkūalaka’i will be used for teaching purposes on Hawaiʻi Island and beyond. Hōkūalakaʻi’s home is in the same location (Palekai) that the historic Hōkūleʻa departed from on its world wide voyage.

hokulakaiThis will be the first of many “Sea to Sky” events at Palekai in Hilo.  It will be an all day event with something for everyone to enjoy.  We have invited many members of the scientific field to have fun educational learning stations available for kids and all participants will be hosted with great food and activities. The focus of the monthly events are structured to:

  • Unite community in helping to restore the voyaging canoe, Hōkūalaka’i.
  • Promote indigenous knowledge in science programs
  • Increase cultural relevance
  • Create opportunities to pursue careers in science and culture education fields

The schedule for the September 24th will be:

  • 8:00-8:30am Informal meet, setup and discuss days activities and work planned for the canoe.
  • 8:45-9:30am ‘awa ceremony and welcome
  • 9:30-11:30am Work on Hōkūalakaʻi, Visit Learning Stations, and Site Beautification Project
  • 11:30-12:30pm Lunch
  • 1:00-4:30 Paddling, Sailing, Swimming (Ocean Activities)
  • 4:30-5:00 Closing talk and cleanup

We will have “Learning Stations” and a variety of organizations joining us each week. Come down to Palekai and join in the community effort to restore Hōkūalakaʻi and help our youth learn about the science and culture that is happening on the Big Island.

If you would like to setup a booth to help educate kids, please contact us!  This will be an on-going event to share Hawaii’s Science and Culture with our youth and each other.  We will be publishing more details and our upcoming events on our website: http://alohapueo.org/pueo-events

THURSDAY: 6th Annual Kipimana Cup – Keaau vs. Kamehameha

The Keaau Cougars will host the 6th Annual Kipimana Cup challenging the Kamehameha Warriors Thursday, this time with a new head coach who happens to be a former coach for Kamehameha.

“We are excited to host the Kipimana Cup at our campus this year,” said Iris McGuire, Keaau High School’s athletic director. “We have a new coach and style of football at Keaau High School,” she noted, referring to Aurellio Abellera, who was the defense coach for the Warriors before opting to lead the Cougars.

Hosted by W.H. Shipman, Limited, which calls Keaau home, the Kipimana Cup is a goodwill football game between the public and private schools located within a few miles radius in Keaau.

“Every year it is encouraging to see the attitude of friendship tied to this particular competition,” said Bill Walter, president of W.H. Shipman, Limited. “Team leadership has been effective in instilling what we all hoped that attitude would be: we can play hard, we can compete to win a game and we can compete here in Keaau in a spirit of good will. Similarly, we encourage incoming businesses to recognize this as a special place to do business and to work together to create an environment where our customers want to come to do business.”

Dan Lyons, head football coach for the Kamehameha Schools Keaau campus, noted the Kipimana Cup is a way of “creating a competition” among the two schools and their athletes, “but also an acknowledgement of sportsmanship” that exists between the two schools. “I just think it’s a really good thing for the community, building community togetherness with both of us being in Keaau.”

He noted that W.H. Shipman, Limited is rooted in the history of both schools, with the land originally owned by the family owned company. As for Keaau’s new coach being one of his former staffers, Lyons thinks it’s “awesome.”

“’Leo’ is a really good guy and a really good catch,” Lyons said. Noting the Cougars have already won a couple of games, he said Abellera will bring “structure, organization, character, and integrity” to the Keaau team. “I mean, he’s a very good coach and great guy. It obviously leaves a void in our program, but it certainly helps Big Island football be better.”

“I coached with Dan for the last three years, and he helped me bring back the fun in coaching and football,” Abellera said. He has actually been a math teacher at Keaau High School for the last 16 years, and this is his second time coaching there. “My dad got sick and footballl didn’t seem fun anymore,” he said.

It was Lyons and the Kamehameha Warriors that got him back into coaching. With Kamehameha on solid ground, and the Cougars in need of help, Abellera returned to Keaau.

For the Kipimana Cup Thursday, Kamehameha will show up with four wins and one loss to Kealakehe, in their most recent game on Friday. Keaau, meanwhile, will face off with the Kamehameha Warriors with two wins and one loss, having defeated the Honokaa Dragons in their most recent game last week.

Thursday’s Kipimana Cup will be a league game for both teams. Kamehameha Schools and Keaau High School didn’t always play against each other, being in different divisions — Keaau being in Division 1 and Kamehameha being in Division 2.  The Big Island Interscholastic Federation League ultimately changed that, but not before W.H. Shipman, Ltd. first pitched the annual Kipimana Cup six years ago.

W.H. Shipman, Limited provides $500 to each of the school’s booster clubs following the game, and a trophy to the winning team.
The Kamehameha Warriors have won all five of the previous Kipimana Cups, but that may be a different story this year with Abellera leading the Keaau Cougars, Lyons acknowledged.

Kamehameha School’s Hawai‘i campus opened on former W.H. Shipman land in 2001 and has an enrollment of a little over 1,000 students, grades K-12, while Keaau High School has an enrollment of 880 children, grades 9-12.  The school first opened in 1998, also on Shipman property.

Kipimana is how Hawaiians historically referred to Shipman. W.H. Shipman, Limited staff came up with the idea for the Kipimana Cup six years ago.

Based in the Puna for the last 130 years, W.H. Shipman, Limited currently has 17,000 acres in and around Keaau, and is active in agriculture and commercial/ industrial development and leasing. Shipman holds a long-range view toward sustainability and planned development for balanced community use.

Thursday’s Kipimana Cup will be held at Keaau High School.  Kickoff for the varsity game is expected to start around 7:30 p.m., a half hour after the 5 p.m. junior varsity game ends. Expect to pay a nominal admission.

Contact Walter at 966-9325 for more details.

Hawaii Celebrates National Child Passenger Safety Week with Free Car Seat Checks Statewide

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is teaming up with the four county police departments and child passenger safety advocates to promote National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 18-24.

During Child Passenger Safety Week and throughout the year, Hawaii’s child passenger safety technicians are dedicated to helping parents and caregivers learn how to correctly install child safety seats and properly buckle up their keiki, whether it’s in child safety seats, booster seats or when using the vehicle’s seat belts.

“Hawaii’s keiki are our most precious asset, we can and need to do better to give them the future they deserve,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director. “Parents and caregivers can improve their child’s safety by simply using child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts properly.”

In Hawaii, children under 4 years old are required to ride in a child safety seat; children 4 through 7 years old must ride in a child passenger restraint or booster seat. Violators are required to appear in court, and if convicted, must attend a four-hour class. They may also be assessed a penalty of up to $500.

According to 2014 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 24 percent of children ages 4 through 7 years old were prematurely moved to seat belts, and 9 percent were unrestrained. Children should remain in booster seats until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall and can use seat belts correctly without the booster seat.

Before a child can be moved from a child safety seat to a booster seat, parents and caregivers should check for the following:

  • The lap belt fits across the child’s upper thigh;
  • The shoulder belt fits across the child’s shoulder and chest;
  • The child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat when his or her back and bottom are against the vehicle seat back; and
  • The child can stay seated properly during the entire trip.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics is now advising that children ride rear-facing until at least the age of 2. To educate the public about this recommendation and Hawaii’s child restraint law, the HDOT is airing public service announcements on television and in movie theaters statewide. Hawaii’s child passenger safety media campaign is 100-percent federally funded.

Hawaii has more than 340 certified child passenger safety technicians, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, medical professionals and parents. All technicians have been trained to provide instruction on choosing the right car seat, installing it and using it correctly.

“Each county has child restraint inspection stations and community car seat checks to ensure that all children return home safe,” said Fuchigami. “Parents and caregivers should utilize these free resources to better protect their children.”

seat-checksFree public car seat check events will be held on National Seat Check Saturday, September 24, at the following locations and times:  

Waipio Shopping Center, Waipahu
94-1040 Waipio Uka St.
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Target, Hilo
391 E. Makaala St., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Target, Kailua-Kona
74-5455 Makala Blvd., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Walmart, Lihue, 3-3300 Kuhio Highway 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A community seat check event will also be held on Saturday,

September 17, at:  Maui

Maui Marketplace, Kahului, 270 Dairy Road,  10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Child Passenger Safety Week is sponsored by NHTSA. For more on child safety, as well as a list of child restraint inspection stations and community car seat check, visit:  www.kipchawaii.org or www.safercar.gov/parents

THINK Fund Classroom Grants Available for 2016-17 School Year

THINK Fund at HCF has funding available for STEM classroom grants through DonorsChoose.org for the 2016-17 school year.

The classroom grants support projects that boost Hawai‘i Island public and public charter school 3rd – 12th grade students in STEM learning; can include materials, supplies and on-island field trips; and can be up to but not over $2,500.

The Hawai‘i Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund was created by the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to benefit Hawai‘i Island students pursuing STEM endeavors with an annual contribution of $1 million. TMT selected two Hawai‘i foundations, Hawai‘i Community Foundation and Pauahi Foundation to administer THINK Fund distributions in scholarship and grant making platforms. TMT has so far funded $2.5 million to the THINK initiative on Hawai‘i Island.

The Hawai‘i Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund was created by the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to benefit Hawai‘i Island students pursuing STEM endeavors with an annual contribution of $1 million. TMT selected two Hawai‘i foundations, Hawai‘i Community Foundation and Pauahi Foundation to administer THINK Fund distributions in scholarship and grant making platforms. TMT has so far funded $2.5 million to the THINK initiative on Hawai‘i Island.

“Many types of projects are part of the STEM learning pathway for our local students, so we support engineering projects such as robotics, engineering design, and aerodynamic design,” says Lydia Clements, Director of Neighbor Islands for the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. “We also encourage projects that expose students to STEM career opportunities like computer programming, environmental science and healthcare.”

Projects can be posted at any time at DonorsChoose.org and requests are reviewed weekly by the THINK Fund at HCF. If a project is selected for funding it usually takes less than three weeks for the students to receive materials in their classroom.

Mrs. Richards’ science class at Keaau High School received a STEM classroom grant in the 2015-2016 school year. Instead of having her students read about decomposition, the students got their hands dirty and created interactive presentations that told the story. “These kids didn’t present dry, written lab reports,” Mrs. Richards said. “They created art to tell their scientific stories. We’re empowering young scientists, thanks to the grant.”

With the classroom grant from THINK Fund at Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF), the students used EcoSTEM Earth Kits to create mini biodome environments to study real-time worm culture, decomposition, soil quality, and planting. But they didn’t stop there. With the Epson 3LCD projector, they told their stories of theory and discovery using interactive technology.

THINK Fund at HCF gets classroom materials into the hands of teachers and students quickly, capturing their enthusiasm while it’s still fresh and getting them out in the field with their projects. The fund’s purpose is to support projects that promote science and math disciplines.

To apply, teachers write up their grant need on DonorsChoose.org, applications are reviewed, projects are selected and funded.

In its first eighteen months, THINK Fund at HCF has committed $150,000 and funded 82 classroom projects for over 8,000 students across Hawai‘i Island. These students have nurtured hydroponics gardens, studied water quality through new lab equipment, and built their own Mars Rover with the help of 3D printers.

The following 29 schools on Hawai‘i Island have received STEM Classroom Project Grants from the THINK Fund at HCF: Connections New Century Public Charter, Hilo Intermediate, Hilo Union Elementary, Ho‘okena Elementary, Innovations Public Charter, Ka ‘Umeke Ka‘eo Public Charter, Kano o ka‘aina New Century Public Charter, K‘au High and Pahala Elementary, Kea‘au High, Kea‘au Middle, Kealekehe Elementary, Kealakehe High, Kealakehe Intermediate, Keonepoko Elementary, Kohala Elementary, Kona Pacific Public Charter, Konawaena Elementary, Konawaena High, Konawaena Middle, Kua o ka La Public Charter, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter, Paauilo Elementary & Intermediate, Prince Kalaniana‘ole Elementary and Intermediate, Volcano School of Arts & Science Public Charter, Waiakea High, Waiakea Intermediate, Waikoloa Elementary & Middle, Waimea Elementary and Waters of Life Public Charter School.

HIDOE Names 2016 Employee, Manager and Team of the Year

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) named its 2016 Employee, Manager and Team of the Year award winners, recognizing employees for their special and continued contributions to education and the students of Hawaii.

“Every one of our winners and nominees have shown exceptional dedication to our students and schools,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE Superintendent.  “Their hard work is reflected in our students’ achievements and have improved the overall education experience for our children, parents, teachers and staff.”

Honowai Elementary’s Lowell Kalani Spencer was named HIDOE’s 2016 Employee of the Year for his meticulous work as head custodian.

Honowai Elementary’s Lowell Kalani Spencer was named HIDOE’s 2016 Employee of the Year for his meticulous work as head custodian. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Honowai Elementary’s Lowell Kalani Spencer was named HIDOE’s 2016 Employee of the Year for his meticulous work as head custodian.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

Mr. Spencer supervises a custodial staff and, under eight years of his supervision, the campus has bloomed with native Hawaiian plants in well-manicured gardens.  His direction helped to provide seamless maintenance of school buildings and the campus grounds during a recent staffing shortage.  His pride in the campus is evident in all of his work and that of his staff.

Ewa Makai Middle’s Francis Santa Monica, Cafeteria Manager, was named HIDOE’s 2016 Manager of the Year.

Ewa Makai Middle’s Francis Santa Monica, Cafeteria Manager, was named HIDOE’s 2016 Manager of the Year. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Ewa Makai Middle’s Francis Santa Monica, Cafeteria Manager, was named HIDOE’s 2016 Manager of the Year.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

Mr. Santa Monica embraces the school’s vision to “Empower, Explore and Excel” and transformed the traditional role of a cafeteria manager to become a vital partner with the school’s booster club to provide food service for special events and activities.  His caring support ensures that students and teachers who are busy with lunchtime activities always have meals available.  Teachers describe him as the “heart of the school” and students see him as a role model, setting a great example to follow.

The Windward District Office Autism Team was named HIDOE’s 2016 Team of the Year.

The Windward District Office Autism Team was named HIDOE’s 2016 Team of the Year. Photo Credit: Department of Education

The Windward District Office Autism Team was named HIDOE’s 2016 Team of the Year. Photo Credit: Department of Education

The team addresses the wide range of Autism Spectrum Disorders to serve students from pre-K through high school and provides training and support to families to help improve their lives.  The team provides training to teachers that incorporate virtual walkthroughs to provide realism and illustrate best practices in action.  Parents have commented that the training they received has helped them to better understand and cope with their autistic children.

The team is comprised of 23 members: Aletha Sutton, Brendan Ahern, Jennifer Bishop, Kali Carvalho, Bianca Chang, Heather Chapman, Verna Choy, Kari Crisler, Cynthia Hopkins, Rochelle Kekauoha, Danielle Mizuta, Carey Motohiro, Jon Motohiro, Meg Murphy, Roxanne Rokero, Melanie Sakai, Jakriz Villahermosa-Madsen, Dayna Williams, Tomoko Yokooji, Diane MacDonald, Ashley Tani, Aida Mercades and Travis MacDonald, along with 45 highly-trained Autism Educational Assistants.

Spencer, Santa Monica, and the Windward District Office Autism Team will represent HIDOE in the upcoming annual Governor’s Awards for Distinguished State Service ceremony.

Today’s event also recognized the outstanding efforts of the following HIDOE employees and teams:

Sustained Superior Performance Award

  • Edgar Yoshida, Baldwin High School, Maui District

Team Excellence Award of Merit

  • Aiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex Area Induction & Mentoring Team: Sue Bevacqua and Christine Braga
  • Kapolei Elementary School Office Team: Karie Gomban, Wanda Goo, Denise Lee, Alyson Manuel, Muriel Takano and Leslie Veazie
  • Olomana School Comprehensive Student Support System Team: Bob Christensen, Sheri Dennis, Tulifau Esene, Wilisoni Fatafehi, Mike Silva and Kelly Taniguchi

Click here for photos from the awards ceremony.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Recognizes Hawaii Teachers Selected for Presidential Award

Today in Washington, DC, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard recognized Hawaiʻi teachers selected for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) and presented them with a Congressional certificate. Five Hawaiʻi teachers were amongst the 213 math and science teachers around the country selected for the award. The 2016 Hawaiʻi awardees are:

  • Alicia Nakamitsu, AieaHigh School
  • Eliza Yoshida, Pu’u Kukui Elementary School
  • Stan Mesina, August Ahrens Elementary School
  • Bryan Silver, Kalani High School
  • Patricia Urasky, Waimea High School

The PAEMST is awarded to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process at the state level.

(Left to right) Alicia Nakamitsu, Bryan Silver, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Eliza Yoshida, Stan Mesina

(Left to right) Alicia Nakamitsu, Bryan Silver, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Eliza Yoshida, Stan Mesina

Awards were given to K-12 teachers from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, and the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands). Each awardee received a citation signed by President Obama, a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and travel to Washington, DC for an award ceremony held yesterday.

Parents Urged to Complete Federal Impact Aid Survey Card – Funding Benefits ALL Public Schools Statewide

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will be sending a U.S. Department of Education Federal Survey Card home with Hawaii’s public school students for parents to complete beginning Wednesday, September 7, 2016.

Over $40 million in Impact Aid funds was received in SY15-16, benefitting all public schools in Hawaii. Parents are urged to complete and return the surveys beginning Sept. 7th.  Photo Credit: Department of Education

Over $40 million in Impact Aid funds was received in SY15-16, benefiting all public schools in Hawaii. Parents are urged to complete and return the surveys beginning Sept. 7th. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Completed Impact Aid Program survey cards allow HIDOE to qualify for a partial reimbursement for educating federally connected students, such as children whose parents work or live on federal property. The program was created to assist school districts that lose tax revenues (e.g. income, sales and property taxes) due to a federal presence. Received funds go to all local school districts, just like local property taxes, and can be used to hire teachers, purchase textbooks and computers, pay for utilities and more. Parents are strongly urged to complete the surveys and return them to their schools as soon as possible.

“Impact Aid funds are extremely important to support all our public schools statewide and help to improve quality education for our students,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE Superintendent. “During the 2015-16 school year, the state accounted for 27,660 federally connected students and received more than $40 million in Impact Aid funding.  We ask all parents for their cooperation to complete these important surveys.”

Completed survey forms will benefit students at all public schools statewide.  Federal reimbursements help to offset such costs as student transportation, school utilities, substitute teachers, portable classrooms and many others necessities.

Without these federal funds, the Hawaii public school system would have $40 million to $50 million less per year to operate with and would need to reduce support for all schools to pay all its expenses. These funds benefit all students at all public schools. Parents are urged to complete and return the surveys.

Every public school has a 100-percent return rate goal and asks that parents complete and return the federal survey next week. Please visit our Impact Aid Program webpage for more information and common questions.

All Hawaii Island PUBLIC Schools Will Reopen Tomorrow

As Tropical Storm Madeline moves past the State, all Hawaii Island public schools will reopen tomorrow, Sept. 2. Schools on the island were closed on Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for the storm.

doe logo

The schools that were activated as shelters on Wednesday closed sheltering services at 6:00 a.m. today.

All after-school activities remain cancelled through tomorrow.

“We assessed our school campuses this morning and no damages were reported,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We will remain vigilant as Hurricane Lester makes its way towards the islands and continue to keep everyone informed of the affects it may have on our schools.”

All public charter schools on Hawaii Island will also open tomorrow.

On Maui, Hana High and Elementary School was closed today following heavy rains that created dangerous conditions. Hana School will also reopen tomorrow.

For more information about HIDOE schools and continued updates, visit www.hawaiipublicschools.org, follow us on Twitter at @HIDOE808, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HIDepartmentofEducation.

UH Hilo Students to Participate in Conservation Congress Gathering

Four cohorts of students from the Kūʻula Integrated Science class in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Science program have been invited by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Marine Program to open the Marine World Heritage Reception on September 5. The reception is part of the Internal Union of Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress (IUCN WCC) that will be held in Honolulu September 1-10.

UH Hilo Moniker

The Kūʻula students will present a chant and hula describing human relationships with the ocean and coral reefs. One of these chants, Uku ʻĀkoʻakoʻa, was composed specifically for Kūʻula by Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō, the director of Hawaiian Culture and Protocols Engagement for UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College through the Uluākea Program. The students presented the same chant and hula to open the International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu attended by 2,500 people in July.

Kū’ula students integrate western and Native Hawaiian scientific knowledge and research methodologies to understand the environment of Hawai’i. Their research has enabled them to establish personal and meaningful connections to the places they study, which have included Midway Atoll and Ha’ena, Kaua’i. Most Kū’ula graduates have gone on to graduate schools or to jobs in natural resource management and education.

“This is a significant achievement for our students majoring in natural sciences, Hawaiian Studies, and social sciences, who worked together through the Kūʻula class experience,” said Dr. Misaki Takabayashi, professor, marine science. “The recognition they are receiving is well-deserved.”

For more information about Kūʻula, contact Takabayashi at 932-7095 or email

134 Kids Participate in HI-PAL Basketball Tournament

A total of 134 youths from 15 teams participated in the HI-PAL “Click It or Ticket” Back 2 School Bash basketball tournament this past weekend at Papaʻikou Gym.

In the 10-and-Under division finals, Kohala’s NSP defeated Fly Girls 21-14 to claim the title. Layden Kauka led NSP with 7 points. Maela Honma tallied 9 points for Fly Girls



Members of the champion NSP squad included Landon and Layden Kauka, Isaac Salvador, Tiras Perez, Kayzen Ittner, Jayden Hook and Isaiah Omalley.

In the third place contest, Warriors out-gunned Keaʻau Chargers 20-14. Javan Ferry led the Warriors with 8 points. Kiai Yasso scored 7 points for the Chargers.

In the 8-and-Under division, Warriors defeated B-Elite 18-2, avenging a 26-22 loss in pool play. Kawohi Huihui and Zoe Silva each tallied 6 for the champions.



Members of the champion Warriors included Huihui and Silva, Hayzen Ferry, Kai Kahana-Rowe, Kaiea Peterson, Keinan Mattos, Micah Chung, Rayden Handy and Waimalu Kahana-Machida.

Keaʻau Chargers finished third.

“Click It or Ticket” is a national education and enforcement campaign to increase seat belt usage and decrease traffic fatalities and injuries. The Hawaiʻi Police Department encourages all youth, teens and adults to use their seat belts.

HI-PAL Click It or Ticket Endless Summer Statewide Invitational Basketball Classic Results

A total of 122 youths from 13 teams, included four teams from Oahu and Maui, participated in the HI-PAL Click It or Ticket Endless Summer Statewide Invitational Basketball Classic this past weekend at Waiākea-Uka Gym.

In the Varsity Girls division finals, Maui Sparks edged Wahine Ryders 41-39 in overtime, with Mikayla Tablit hitting the game winning three-pointer in the waning seconds of the game. Tablit led the Sparks with 21 points. Mandy Kawaha topped the Ryders with 19.

Maui Sparks

Maui Sparks

Members of the champion Maui Sparks squad included Tablit, Nel Mae Bumanglag, Kaylee and Kyra Cambra, Kamaile Cugal, Jordyn Mantz, Honeylet Padasadao, Ashley Taylor Peralta, Kealia Sjostrand, Mikiala Sniffen and Tanniya Uchida.

In the third-place contest, Waiākea defeated Keaʻau 43-15. Madison Hwang tallied 10 for Waiākea.

In the Girls Rising Stars finals, Kona Stingrays withstood a furious comeback from Hoop Dreams to claim the championship 26-25. Gracie Hing scored 11 points for the Stingrays and Keani Midel had 10 for Hoop Dreams.

Kona Stingrays

Kona Stingrays

Members of the champion Stingrays included Hing, Kassie and Lanie Alapai, Kiera Ambrosia, Tayvia Cabatbat, Dallas Carlos, Rebekah Fong, Peyton Healeamau, Gabryela Kaipo, Iolani Kamakau, Caiyle Kaupu and Juliana Losalio.

In the third-place contest, Honokaʻa outscored Maui Sparks 26-15. Kaliana Salazar-Harrell led Honokaʻa with 14 points.

In the boys Rising Stars division, Hoop Dreams out-gunned St. Joseph 62-32 to claim the title. Keawe Silva scored 18 points, Kobe Kahele added 16 and Kiaʻi Apele tallied 11 for the champions. Stan Mawry led the runners-up with 10 points.

Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

Members of the champion Hoop Dreams included Silva, Kahele, Apele, Kaukahi Alameda, Macmillan Aloisio, Isaiah Cordero, Chance Simeona, and Kaupena Yasso.

In the third-place contest, Hawaiʻi Storm ran past PGU 42-7. Enzo Mazzulli scored 10 for the Storm.

“Click It or Ticket” is a national education and enforcement campaign to increase seat belt usage and decrease traffic fatalities and injuries. The Hawaii Police Department encourages all youth, teens and adults to use their seat belts.