The Legacy of a princess

Kamehameha Schools was founded by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great.

Pauahi Legacy
Kamehameha Schools invests more than $1.9 million on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau


LĪHU‘E, Kaua‘i - (December 28, 2017) – The Wai‘ale‘ale Project at Kaua'i Community College provides financial, academic and other supports to reduce barriers for students who otherwise were not bound for college.

The Wai‘ale‘ale Project is among more than a dozen programs on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau which are collaborating with Kamehameha Schools to strengthen the achievements of Native Hawaiian learners.

Kamehameha Schools has awarded more than $1.9 million in community investment grants to support collaboration partners on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau for the current fiscal year which began July 1. For the Wai‘ale‘ale Project, that means tuition assistance for the first year of college for 150 Native Hawaiians, increasing the potential for post-high school success.

Overall, Kamehameha Schools has awarded $24 million in grants statewide for this fiscal year.

The grants target four primary priorities statewide – $4.6 million for early learning, $12 million for kindergarten-to-grade-12 education, $4.25 million for college and career focus and $3 million for ‘āina and community engagement – with the goal of improving native Hawaiian learner outcomes in kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading scores, 8th grade math scores, on-time high school graduation rates and completion of post-secondary education.

“These grants support areas such as Hawaiian cultural-based immersion and charter schools, early education programs, ‘āina-based learning opportunities, vocational training and undergraduate and graduate internships,” said Lauren Nahme, Vice President of Strategy and Innovation. “As part of our Strategic Plan for 2020 and Vision 2040, we join with these community collaborators in working toward building a thriving lāhui.”

Statewide, several organizations received grants for multiple projects:

  • ‘Aha Pūnana Leo – Funding support that includes per-pupil funding for Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani’ōpu‘u Iki Laboratory Public Charter School in East Hawai‘i and Ke Kula Ni‘ihau O Kekaha.
  • University of Hawai‘i – To support a number of programs including teacher education, college readiness and internships.
  • Ho‘okāko‘o Corporation – For support of Kamaile Academy, Ke Kula Kualapu‘u and Waimea Middle School.
  • Kanu o ka ‘Āina Learning ‘Ohana – To support the West Hawai‘i school’s K-12 and early childhood education initiatives.
  • Friends of the Leeward Coast – Includes support for Ka Waihona o ka Na‘auao Public Charter School’s per-pupil funding and integration of STEM and ‘ike Hawai‘i  practices.

For time first time, Kamehameha Schools is providing multi-year funding to core collaboration efforts with charter schools, organizations stewarding KS ‘āina, and other critical partners.

In addition to the $24 million, Kamehameha Schools is honoring another $3 million in continued commitments to projects such as:

  • Polynesian Voyaging Society’s final year of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.
  • The University of Hawai‘i’s Makalapua Na‘auao – a four-year scholarship program for Native Hawaiian students attending U.H.
  • Chaminade University’s Ho‘oulu STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to boost the number of Native Hawaiian students pursuing and earning degrees in STEM fields.

Investments in programs and projects on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau totaled more than $1.9 million with awards going to organizations such as:

  • Waipā Foundation for the Waipā Ahupua'a Learning Center.
  • Kanu I Ka Pono Inc. for Kanuikapono Public Charter School’s per-pupil funding and program development.
  • ‘Aha Punana Leo, Inc.’s support of Ke Kula Ni‘ihau O Kekaha for per-pupil funding and growth development.
  • Supporting the Language of Kaua‘i for Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School's per-pupil allocation and for the Manokalanipō Curriculum Stabilization Project.
  • Kanaka Aupuni A Ni‘ihau Aloha to support the Kula Aupuni Ni‘ihau A Kahelelani Aloha (KANAKA) New Century Public Charter School’s  bilingual educational program (Ni‘ihau Dialect and English) and the Pre-kindergarten through grade 12 Bilingual Education Curriculum for Hawaiian and English.
  • Kapa'a Elementary Summer School program provides literacy support and culture-based enrichment to approximately 124 students in grades K-5.

“From ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i to ‘āina-based education, these investments strengthen knowledge through the uniqueness of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, enabling Native Hawaiian identity and educational progress to flourish,” Regional Director Buffy Ofisa said.

For a list of other community resources for Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, visit