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Teachers from Hawai’i public schools can apply for Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation Project Grants to help advance their environmental education goals. Previous grantees have used KHF funds for garden supplies, eco-footprint workshops, vermicompost trainings, and more. One school has raised enough worms to start a commercial-scale vermicomposting bin for their campus food waste!

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Stewards of the Earth

UH 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.