Mini-Grant Project Library
Pukalani’s Project Based Learning GardenPukalani Elementary School, Makawao, Maui
A team of Pukalani Elementary School 2nd graders used the Design Thinking process to do a redesign of their learning garden to improve their garden class experience. In addition to solutions around adding soil amendments, irrigation, and storage of garden tools, the students created a Farmstand as a fundraiser to help cover ongoing garden costs. "The students were so excited to help decide the needs of their gardens and see the improvements though via the KHF Mini-Grant!"
Growing Cherry Tomatoes, Herbs and LettuceBright Beginning Preschool, Hauʻula, Oʻahu
Bright Beginning Preschool reports that “this project was a huge success with the teachers and the children. The teachers have been supportive with encouraging the students to water the plants and the children have loved planting seeds, watering and watching things grow.” They recently harvested the lettuce they were growing and served it to the students with some dressing. The children enjoyed it so much, not a single leaf was left. “It was so exciting. Thank you so much for the grant!”
Assets School GardenAssets School, Honolulu, O'ahu
Assets has started a school garden for their K-8 campus. The garden will be built, maintained, and utilized by their teachers and students. Every class will have the opportunity to utilize the garden and integrate Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation and Kū ʻĀina Pā curricula into their already existing objectives. They also plan to offer a gardening Enrichment class open to all grade levels. Garden lessons should meet various Science, Hawaiiana, Language Arts, and Math objectives
for all grade levels.
Assets reports that the “groundwork is complete and we are now happily growing and learning in our very first school garden! The school community is thrilled and each class has a range of projects planned for their plot of land. The financial support from Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation is greatly appreciated, as this is what really made it all possible! We also greatly appreciate the workshops and resources online. Thank you for helping to connect our students to the ʻāina!”
HBA Garden Expansion ProjectHawaii Baptist Academy, Honolulu, Oʻahu
Hawaiʻi Baptist Academy students wanted to reduce the amount of food waste produced on campus and wrote for a Hawaiʻi Youth Sustainability Challenge grant to fund their project. They developed an implementation plan for collecting food waste on the high school campus and composting it using worm bins and hot compost piles. The resulting compost would be used to feed the school gardens, which also received a new fence installed by the students.
The project advisor writes, “The students had a chance to take ownership of something that will become their legacy at this school. It’s really been a surprising unifier among our whole school community as several people have been inspired to start their own worm bins, donate materials to the garden, etc...”
“There has been a significant increase in awareness of environmental issues around campus. Students, faculty, and staff have taken a greater interest in being good stewards and are more enthusiastic about caring for the environment. The enrollment is AP Environmental Science has doubled for next year and our second annual Earth Day Fair expanded from one day to a week-long celebration.”
Vermicomposting System ProjectSt. Anthony School, Kailua, Oʻahu
St. Anthony School students and teachers collaborated to accomplish a productive Vermicomposting System Project. The first batch of worms was cared for by the early elementary classes. The students and teacher sorted and collected food for their worms and increased feeding as their worm capacity increased. Congratulations to the students and teacher on a well-thought through a successful vermicomposting project.
Peace and Sustainability GardenKaiser High School, Oʻahu
From petitioning for use of their future garden site to preparing the land, performing agricultural experiments, and learning about waste responsibility, the “Peace and Sustainability Garden” allowed Kaiser High School students to use their imaginations, innovate, and have a little faith in themselves and each other to realize the value of failures in successes, and a sense of purpose and responsibility. The end result is a amazing scenic peaceful garden area.
Download Project PDF
6th Grade Smoothie CompetitionKamaile Academy, Waiʻanae, Oʻahu
Kamaile Academy students familiarized themselves with the ʻĀINA Food Guide by making a well-balanced snack. Students created smoothie recipes from a predetermined ingredients list and had to do it under a set budget. Judges presented awards for the tastiest, most micronutrients, most macronutrients, and least expensive smoothie. The Smoothie Competition was highly competitive, gave the students a chance to use local ingredients, brought excitement about eating, both "good for you" and "tasty."
Kaulana KawaVolcano School of Arts and Sciences PCS, Hawaiʻi Island
To restore and promote the value of Native Hawaiian Plants in Hawaiʻi Island’s Kawa Dry Forest, the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences PCS students and student leaders worked with community members and local schools to mālama ʻāina with their “Kaulana Kawa Project.” They removed invasive species and restored areas with a diverse and abundant endemic and indigenous native plant community.
What is Required to Feed Our Community?SEEQS, Oʻahu
Our project wasn’t simple. The goal was to feed a community, hence our “What does it take to feed a community?” essential question. There was a twist, though. We could only use food that we grew, and the only things we could buy were staple ingredients; stuff that we couldn’t make. We spent a whole school year working on every aspect of what it would take to feed others. We first split up into groups, each covering different things that would be needed. For example, the Field rotation focused only on the field and making those plants grow, and then we rotated and a different group would come to the field.
The four groups were Field, Garden Beds, Aquaponics, and closing the circle, also called nutrient management. The second semester we split off into four different groups that would focus more on the event, they were Event Planning, Chef & Artist Corner, Field & Garden Beds, and Water.
We stayed in these groups and worked on our independent projects. The Field 2 was a mini projects, and the meditation and tea garden was another, but people also continued with previous projects, like the Aquaponics. These all led up to our final event in May, for example the meditation and tea garden group made tea and grew herbs. Other groups preserved food that was harvested early on in the year, such as kabocha squash and flint corn. Some students worked on researching and testing recipes, and others made plans on how to organize the event as a whole. Together, we cooked and served all our food at the Rusty Fork Cafe!
The Fork ProjectʻIolani School, Honolulu
ʻIolani School seniors worked with 2nd graders at their school to implement a reusable fork pilot program. They started with the purchase of metal forks for the 2nd graders who transported the forks to and from the cafeteria from their classroom, hand washed and sanitized them daily. Compact dishwashers were then purchased making the daily routine of washing forks quicker and easier for the young students. Over 17,000 bio-compostable forks were offset through this project in 6 months and the 2nd grade students enthusiastically convinced grades K, 1, and 3 to make the switch to reusable metal forks for the 2018-19 school year!
Pono Ponic ProjectʻEwa Makai Middle School, Oʻahu
ʻEwa Makai Middle School Students’ Pono Ponics Project focused on the significance of being green as students built an understanding of environmental awareness and sustainability. While studying plant growth in their gardens and aquaponics systems, the students thought of numerous paths and outcomes and how their Pono Ponics Project contributes to the betterment of their school environment, as well as, their ʻEwa community.
MOMI Compost System ExpansionMontessori School of Maui
Montessori School of Maui’s keiki designed and constructed compost bins to replace their old bin frames that were falling apart. The middle schoolers are now collecting compost and selling it to the community in support of their field trip account. The MOMI Compost System Expansion Project has granted an invaluable holistic perspective in the practice of scalable agriculture and trade exchange.
Gardening Nutrition Health ProjectʻĀina Haina Elementary School, Oʻahu
ʻĀina Haina Elementary School’s innovative “Gardening Nutrition Health Project” granted Cheryl Samuel’s 5th grade students new-found knowledge on gardening and nutrition. While planning, building, and planting their “Tower Garden,” students tracked vegetable growth and valuable nutrition lessons. The innovative garden design gave students excitement to inspire healthy behaviors and well-being within their families.
Fern is Where We Learn HydroponicsFern Elementary School, Oʻahu
Third graders at Fern Elementary School in Kalilhi learned about hydroponics. “Fern is Where We Learn Hydroponics” allowed students to collaborate together to observe and monitor their plants. Throughout the semester, the keiki were encouraged to eat the Mānoa lettuce and basil that they grew. The students proudly presented the fruits of their labor to their school’s administration and teachers
ʻĀINA NutritionKeone'ula Elementary School
After being trained to use the ʻĀINA In Schools curriculum, Keoneʻula teachers Tarynn Firestone and Tasha Firestone shared the lessons with their Grade 2 and 6 students. The keiki gained valuable nutrition insights as they enjoyed delicious close to the source snacks and poi smoothies. Reviewing nutrition label facts, they gained awareness on how food choices impact our well-being and were encouraged to make mindful decisions about their food choices.
Conservation Station ProjectMoloka'i High School
Molokai High School’s 8th grade students planted an array of almost two dozen native plant species in their successful “Conservation Station.” With the installation of an irrigation system and with the creation of museum quality markers, the project is providing an excellent opportunity to educate the school community about the importance of native plants and the impacts of non-native and invasive species. Students are also further learning to identify and learn the cultural uses for the native plants.
Solar Panels on the GardenMontessori School of Maui
With the help of a KHF grant, the Montessori School of Maui’s Koa Class designed and built solar-powered panels for their vermicomposting tea brewer. The “Solar Panels on the Garden (SPOG)” project gave the 7th and 8th grade students to opportunity to learn about off-grid photovoltaic systems and construction, a wealth of experiences in scientific investigation, organic gardening practices, and sustainability principles. The PV System will serve the student body for years to come. Congratulations to teacher Scott Lacasse and the Koa Class students and leaders on your excellent project.
Huli Ka Lima i LaloSt. Joseph Jr. and Sr. High School
Ms. Maile Kipapa’s Hawaiian Language Class and Science Class restored St. Joseph Schoolʻs Hawaiian subsistence plant garden. This project allowed students to witness for themselves the importance of traditional knowledge and how it works. They were able to carry out their learning beyond the classroom walls and watch the plants flourish right before their eyes. The students now have a sense of belief and appreciation for traditional knowledge and that traditional knowledge is still prevalent to modern times.
Composting at KaʻelepuluKaʻelepulu Elementary School, Kailua
Kaʻelepulu Elementary School has been successful in establishing a hot composting and vermicomposting program to divert all food waste, school-wide, from breakfast and lunch to hot composting piles. They have also been able to reduce non-compostable waste and minimize excess plastic bag use by stacking trays and bowls, and compacting milk cartons. 5th graders learned how to to manage resources, use simple math application, data entry and maintenance, read scales and thermometers as part of this project. Utilizing the newly created soil, physics, physical science, math, and environmental lessons are being reinforced with hands-on garden lessons.
Mosaic Debris Mural ProjectJefferson Elementary School, Honolulu
All Grade K- 5 students from Jefferson Elementary worked with Artist in Resident Shannon McCarthy spending three class periods learning about marine debris and its impacts on our environment and sea life. Using marine debris collected from Oʻahu beaches, each student contributed pieces of plastic to complete the mural. Through the residency and mural project, students were taught to rethink their consumption of plastic and ways to help keep our oceans clean.
Stewards of the EarthUH Mānoa Children's Center
The pre-school children at UH Mānoa Children's Center actively engaged in the “Stewards of the Earth” project. It was a two-fold preparation for an ongoing “sustainable” outdoor learning experience.
1) The children helped to scoop out the soil, perlite and sphagnum peat moss and mixed it up all together. Once incorporated, they delighted in planting fresh Winter Melon seeds in this rich medium. They continue to care for the seedlings and observe its growth as the days go by.
2) We set up the “Worm Café” as directed by the kit. The children used their hands to tear strips of newspaper and cardboard to small pieces while adding water to hydrate the coconut coir. Once all components were broken down we carefully mixed them all together to create a comfortable “bed” for the arrival of our vermi (red wigglers). Families excitedly brought in containers of kitchen scraps to feed our vermi. The children took turns adding water to the trays and keenly observed the excess water flow out of the spigot. In weeks ahead, we will take a closer look at how the compost will break down to a rich vermicast for our main purpose of utilizing the material for healthy plant growth in becoming more sustainable “Stewards of the Earth.”
TheKHF Mini-Grant afforded the UH Mānoa Children's Center with the resources to bring to light a wonderful opportunity to learn how to care for our earth in a fun, meaningful and purposeful way. The teachers, children and parents delighted in the hands on learning approach in helping children become “Stewards of the Earth” in a real way. These experiences are long and lasting in every sense.
ʻEleʻele Preschool Garden ProjectʻEleʻele Elementary School, Kauaʻi
ʻEleʻele Elementary School’s Preschool Garden Project was a wonderful success as a colorful and safe classroom space. With its automated irrigation system, the easy-to-maintain area will expand integrating the outdoors into the preschool’s daily schedule to help improve students motor function, teamwork, and social skills.
Urban Garden ExpansionHuakailani School for Girls, Kailua, Oʻahu
Huakailani School for Girls, in the heart of Kailua town expanded their schoolʻs already existing urban garden, linked their waste-free bokashi, and further utilized their worm composting program. The harvests increased student vegetable consumption, as the students learned to cook and eat their produce on a weekly basis.
Food Waste Reduction ProgramKainalu Elementary School, Oʻahu
Kainalu Elementary purchased a large scale vermicompost pipeline to take their Food Waste Reduction Program to the next level. By collecting cafeteria food waste, the students have been able to feed their worms, as well as, create rich vermicast and worm tea to nourish their ʻĀINA gardens. Sandra Bode’s third grade students have become masters of the project as they have come to love to learn, interact, and care for the worms.
From Field to TableIsland Pacific Academy, Oʻahu
Island Pacific Academy 1st graders explored how food makes it to their table during this project. Each student had their own container to observe their own plants. By comparing their individual plants with the variety of plants that were planted in the schoolʻs three large garden beds, the students used authentic real world plant observations, as well as, exercises in higher thinking skills.
ʻĀINA In Schools Nutrition EducationKoko Head Elementary School, Honolulu
In an effort to provide students with nutrition education two teachers who participated in the ʻĀINA In Schools Nutrition Education and Garden-Based Learning Curriculum Training for Educators, implemented lessons with their grade 3 and grade 5 students. A total of 60 students in each grade level participated and were impacted by nutrition and garden lessons. To demonstrate students knowledge and understanding, teachers collected summative and formative data and anecdotes from students.
The KHF Mini-Grant funds were used to implement the ʻĀINA In Schools Nutrition Education lessons. "The lesson plans were so well done and easy to implement in the classroom. We were able to purchase all the items we needed to get started with the lessons and will continue them with future classes. The students were so enthusiastic about the lessons and really enjoyed the cooking activities. What we enjoyed most was seeing the students excited about eating vegetables and healthy foods. We were able to demonstrate how simple it was to cook delicious, healthy food. I would recommend this program to anyone!"
Hanalei Taro Presentation and DemonstrationKamiloiki Elementary School
Kamilokiki Elementary School bought in two kalo farmers from Hanalei Taro on Kauaʻi to speak to 4th graders about how to grow and cultivate kalo, a plant that is so important to the Hawaiian culture. The farmers taught the students about the parts of the kalo plant, what each part can be used for, and the difficulties that kalo farmers encounter. In addition to the presentation, they brought 30 pre-cooked kalo roots for the students to look at, make observations and inferences about, and pond into paiʻiʻai, a pure mixture of kalo and water to take home. They also brought samples of two desserts that are made from kalo for all of the students and teachers: taro mochi and kulolo.
This opporutnity was shared not only with the students, but with teachers at Kamiloiki as well. The Principal, Hawaiiana teacher, Mandarin teacher, and librarian also shared in the experience wiuth the students, two of whom are not originally from Hawaiʻi.
"This was an amazing opportunity and experience for our students and faculty that would not have been possible without the help and support from Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation," Daniel Adachi, 4th Grade Teacher.
Kolea Gardens ProjectEnchanted Lake Elementary School
The PreK & Kindergarten students at Enchanted Lake Elementary are learning life and earth science through gardening. The Kolea Gardens Project enables each class to have a garden outside their classrooms, where they conduct observations and experiments to meet Hawaiʻi Content and Performance Standards in science, language arts, mathematics and/or fine arts.
GreenHouse Growing ProjectLanikai Elementary Public Charter School
Addition of a greenhouse at Lanikai Elementary Public Charter School helped students 6th graders gain accessibility to model small scale farming in a mechanically controlled environment.
They mulched the interior of the Greenhouse and set tables up. They used their Kaoʻhao signature soil potting mix to grow cherry tomato plants from seed. The tomato plants loved being in the Greenhouse. 100% of the seedlings emerged and grew into healthy tomato plants which were given away to students and parents.
Parker Sawyer, 6th Grade Science Teacher is excited to begin the Kao'hao Greenhouse Trials and will have the students come up with controlled experiments that will run for three months in the Greenhouse. They will take data as a class on a daily basis. Temperature readings will be taken everyday in the Greenhouse.
Parents have stopped by to ask if they can help out in the Garden and the Greenhouse. We are hoping to have the biggest plant sale yet this October during the Lanikai School Fall Festival.
Nutrition Garden ProjectWaimānalo Elementary School
The 4th - 6th graders at Waimānalo Elementary School planted a garden to bring Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation’s ʻĀINA in Schools hands-on nutrition lessons outside of the classroom. Teacher Catilin Tillotson took the ʻĀINA In Schools Curriculum Training for Educators course and used KHF Mini-Grant funding to purchase tools, seedlings, and other garden supplies to bring the curriculum to life and focus messaging around “close to the source” foods.
ʻĀi Pono GardenKahului Elementary School
Kahului Elementary’s “Aina Pono Garden” project started in the Fall of 2013 when a couple first grade teachers envisioned a garden in front of their classrooms. After much dedication, time, costs, parents and community companies donated time and talent to make their garden a reality. With the help of a KHFʻs Mini-Grant, many improvements and supplies were purchased to keep the garden’s vision true.
Throughout the years, the teachers created lessons and hands-on experiences in science, reading, math, and writing. Student learned about maintaining an organic garden, watering composting, soil, and insects. They also grew their own plants to take home for holiday gifts.
First Grade Teacher Kelly Sacapanio highly recommends learning in the garden for students.
Rain Garden ProjectBlanche Pope Elementary School
Funding from Kokua Hawai'i Foundationʻs Mini-Grant Program provided tools and plants for Blanche Pope Elementary Schoolʻs “Rain Garden Project.” Using the Aina schools Nutrition and Garden PD3 program, teacher Brynn Leake offered lessons on how to grow and maintain native plants. The 2nd grade students were provided hands-on, place and project-based learning experiences that allowed a strong understanding of how rain gardens and native Hawaiian plants help to malama our ocean and streams.
The lessons resulted in thriving kalo plants, kupukupu (fishbone ferns), native sledge, akia, ‘ilima, uki’uki, pohinahina, ma’o (endangered hibiscus), and olena. Congratulations to Brynn Leake and Blanche Pope Elementary Schoolʻs 2nd grade for a job well-done!
Kawaikini PCS School GardenKawaikini Public Charter School, Lihue, Kauai
Kawaikini Public Charter School is developing a comprehensive 1-acre sustainable garden system that is also incorporating a plan for animal husbandry. Students are learning cooking and nutrition skills, as they provide and prepare food for special events, snacks, and meals. Kawaikini PCSʻs goal to become a Farm toSchool Model on Kauai.
#Sporkitup is a film and social media campaign by Maui Huliau students to encourage Maui youth to reduce their use of single-use plastic by using reusable bamboo sporks in place of plastic utensils at school and when eating out. The #sporkitup project originated from the reusable sporks that our students use to avoid single-use plastic during student trips. Since thousands of plastic utensils are thrown away every day at almost every school on Maui, these Huliau students decided to use a film and Instagram campaign to empower their fellow students to stop using plastic utensils. Below you can find more information on this project including our #Sporkitup Instagram Challenge for high school students, our student’s promo video and events where the general public can find sporks.
Aquaponics Garden ProjectSeagull School, Kapolei, Oʻahu
The process of aquaponics was first explained to the teachers, then the children assisted in providing a home environment for the aquaponic fish and seedlings. Throughout the months, the students fed their fish and observed their growing plants. This Aquaponics Garden Project fit the student curriculum on insect, plant, and animal life cycles. Congratulations to Ms. Nakagawa-Soberano and students for all the positive feedback from the other teachers and parents for your wonderful hands-on classroom garden project.
Special Education Vital Skills Recycle ProjectKapolei High School
Kapolei High School’s “Special Education Vital Skills Recycle Project” encourages Special Education students to interact with their teachers and peers on campus. Participating students also learn valuable skills such as following a schedule, sorting by different materials, counting bottles and cans, and differentiating what can and cannot be recycled. This project encourages the campus staff and students to recycle more as their recycle bins are emptied on a regular basis. Additionally, the Special Education students take pride in their job as they contribute to keeping Kapolei High School an environmentally friendly campus.
Aiea Aquaponics/Agriculture ProjectAiea High School
Project created to establish and maintain an aquaponic system at Aiea High School and make use of the and maintain land behind the school to create a farmland setting all for educational purposes. The project will be an on-going effort to educate students now and in the future about the math, science, and labor behind aquaculture, aquaponics, hydroponics, and agriculture, and the difference between each.
Building a Healthier Campus: Mind, Body and CommunityHoly Nativity School
Holy Nativity School’s (HNS) mission for academic years 2012-2014 is to move toward a healthier campus in mind. (i.e. improve the rigor of the education by promoting out of classroom and project-based learning), body (i.e, address the way our children understand nutrition and engage in movement noth on and off campus), and community (i.e, working to make the campus more “green” for the godd of the student and the greater East Oahu region through green initiatives and community service). For this application, HNS seeks Kokua Hawaii Foundation’s help to support the “community” component, mainly to contribute the school’s initiative to help reduce the campus’s contribution of land-based run-off in an effort to help improve the health of Maunalua Bay.
Konawaena High School Garden ProjectKonawaena High School
Konawaena High School student Rebecca Crabtree used Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation Mini Grant funds to support her senior project aimed at growing healthy, fresh food on campus. Crabtree partnered with her teacher and mentor Ms. Mary Lyn Garner along with the school administration, agriculture club, fellow students, and cafeteria staff, to install irrigation, build a fence, build new garden beds, and create a compost system. Produce harvested from this garden is now prepared and served at the school’s new salad bar every two weeks. Kudos to the Konawaena High School crew for making this all happen!
Native Plant Rain GardenWaiʻalae Public Charter School
In partnership with Malama Maunalua,we have started our first phase of researching native plants that would be most appropriate for the Kaimuki area. We are currently in touch with a nursery who will be helping us with this selection and we are also working with Malama Maunalua to plan and implement the project. We are going to get both plants and seeds (some by donation, some by purchase) and allow the seeds to grow in pots until they are ready for planting. We are anticipating this process to take around 4-6 months (advice from nursery). So our goal is to get the plants started this summer and then this upcoming school year we will get them planted. We are also planning to use rain barrels. The installation of them will take some time too because the drain that will feed the barrels are made of steel so we will need to get this handled by a professional who can assist us. It is a big project and one that we are excited about!
- Pukalani’s Project Based Learning Garden
- Growing Cherry Tomatoes, Herbs and Lettuce
- Assets School Garden
- HBA Garden Expansion Project
- Vermicomposting System Project
- Peace and Sustainability Garden
- 6th Grade Smoothie Competition
- Kaulana Kawa
- What is Required to Feed Our Community?
- The Fork Project
- Pono Ponic Project
- MOMI Compost System Expansion
- Gardening Nutrition Health Project
- Fern is Where We Learn Hydroponics
- ʻĀINA Nutrition
- Conservation Station Project
- Solar Panels on the Garden
- Huli Ka Lima i Lalo
- Composting at Kaʻelepulu
- Mosaic Debris Mural Project
- Stewards of the Earth
- ʻEleʻele Preschool Garden Project
- Urban Garden Expansion
- Food Waste Reduction Program
- From Field to Table
- ʻĀINA In Schools Nutrition Education
- Hanalei Taro Presentation and Demonstration
- Kolea Gardens Project
- GreenHouse Growing Project
- Nutrition Garden Project
- ʻĀi Pono Garden
- Rain Garden Project
- Kawaikini PCS School Garden
- Aquaponics Garden Project
- Special Education Vital Skills Recycle Project
- Aiea Aquaponics/Agriculture Project
- Building a Healthier Campus: Mind, Body and Community
- Konawaena High School Garden Project
- Native Plant Rain Garden