July 01, 2014
Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation supports environmental education in Hawai‘i’s schools and communities. Our mission is to provide students with experiences that will enhance their appreciation for and understanding of their environment so they will be lifelong stewards of the earth. During the 2013-2014 school year we reached thousands through our programs:
‘ĀINA In Schools is a farm to school initiative that connects children to their local land, waters, and food to grow a healthier Hawai‘i.
Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation works directly with 15 Oʻahu elementary schools that have implemented the ʻĀINA In Schools program. 31 Nutrition Docent Teams led 721 Nutrition lessons, reaching 2,144 students, while 56 Garden Docent teams delivered 1,440 Garden & Compost lessons to 3,688 students, with 505 students participating in Garden Clubs. 10 Chef partners provided 17 ʻĀINA chef visits to schools this year with 1,114 students making healthy, kid-friendly recipes with local and school garden-sourced ingredients. Over 600 parent and community volunteers supported the program by giving almost 5,000 hours. An additional 55 educators from 5 islands were trained this year to take the ʻĀINA garden, composting, and nutrition curricula to their schools.
Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation Field Trip Grants give schools the financial assistance needed to bring students to outdoor sites where they can experience hands-on learning about Hawaiʻi’s environment.
Nearly 7,000 students from 89 schools participated in field trips supported by Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation. Field trip sites included: Hawaiʻi National Volcanoes Park, Lyman Museum, MAʻO Farms, Kualoa Ranch, Kaʻala Farms, Loʻi Kalo Waiʻanae, Camp Erdman, Kahuku Farms, Auwahi Watershed and many others.
Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation Mini-Grants fund projects and teachers from Hawai‘i schools to assist in advancing their environmental goals in the classroom and pursuing stewardship endeavors.
Over 10,020 students from 30 schools participated in environmental projects supported by KHF Mini-Grants this year. Projects include: Healthy Locally Grown Snacks for Mililani Uka Elementary School, Seagull Vermicomposting Project, Kaimukī Middle Green Belt Expansion, Return of the Menehune Play and more.
3R’s School Recycling Program empowers students to engage and educate their school community about the 3R’s—reduce, reuse, recycle.
KHF supported 52 schools with their on-campus recycling and composting solutions by providing in-class recycling receptacles and consultation on campus-wide waste reduction, collection and redemption efforts such as recycling drives, green waste and cafeteria waste solutions. KHF hosted Aloha ʻĀina Recycling Drives at 16 Oʻahu schools this year where over 127,000 pounds of cardboard, paper, batteries, oil, bottles, cans, metals, electronics, TVs and computers were collected and diverted from the waste stream with proceeds from the sale of the recycled materials going directly to participating schools.
Plastic Free Hawai‘i provides resources, tools, and trainings to educate schools, business partners, and community members on the environmental and health benefits of going plastic free to minimize the consumption of single-use plastics in our islands.
Over 1,500 volunteers have participated in Beach Cleanups at Kaʻena Point, Honolulu, Haleʻiwa, Kahuku, and Kailua beaches giving nearly 3000 hours to remove over 11,000 pounds of trash and marine debris. In addition, movie screenings, upcycled t-shirt tote bag making, marine debris lessons, and visits from Method soap company and Plastic Free maven Beth Terry have been keeping our schools and communities busy spreading the waste reduction message. PFH educational presentations have been made to over 1,647 students at 15 schools, including elementary, middle, and high schools and colleges. We hosted an additional 38 PFH educational outreach booths at various community and partner events such as local farmers’ markets and youth surf competitions. In total these efforts have reached over 8,525 total individuals for the year. PFH Docents have donated over 245 hours of time to help make all of this happen. Our most dramatic new achievement this year are the new PFH reusable tote bags. Since February, volunteers have distributed over 6,500 free reusable totes at farmers’ markets and outreach events across the island resulting in over 6,500 commitments from our community and tourist visitors to bring a reusable bag when shopping.