Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i - (September 28, 2017) – The Kamehameha Schools (KS) Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau Region continues to broaden its efforts in the community via its new Community Hale in Līhu‘e.
Located at 3201 Akahi Street (next to Tip Top Restaurant in the center of Līhu‘e), the Community Hale includes offices for KS’ four-person regional team, two ‘ohana engagement team members and three counselors – two dedicated to the nationally acclaimed Kamehameha Scholars program and one focused on post-high school efforts. By consolidating two former KS offices, the new location serves the Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau communities efficiently.
“Our Kamehameha Schools Community Hale here on Kaua‘i is important for so many reasons,” said KS Regional Director for Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau Buffy Ofisa. “Besides it being a facility and foundation with some roots planted here that say ‘Kaua‘i, we’re not going anywhere,’ I also see it as a gathering place for our community. It’s not just offices, it’s not just a place where you come and fill out forms and turn them in, but I’d like it to be busy all the time with activities involving the community and our collaborators.”
Ron Cox, director of Kamehameha Publishing, took part in a blessing celebration for the Community Hale and announced the donation of more than 600 books to fill Kekaha Elementary School’s library and classrooms. In partnership with the Keiki to Career Kaua‘i Collective Impact team, the book donation aligns with the group’s efforts to increase literacy at the school and in the community.
Prior to the blessing on Sept. 16, keiki and their families from across the island engaged in a variety of fun learning activities thanks in part to support from community collaborator Hui Ho‘omalu Partners in Development Foundation. The young children, some of whom are currently in foster care or have recently been placed with adoptive parents, mixed and played with “slime” and “playdough,” made flower lei, planted native trees and plants around the Community Hale and enjoyed movies and refreshments.
“I’m so happy to have this community hale here as a place where we can share resources and information,” said Hui Ho‘omalu Community Liason Monica Ka‘auwai. “We partner with Kamehameha Schools to get the word out about services for children and families across the island, and we work so well together that I’m looking forward to continuing this collaboration.”
Added Administrator for Child Welfare Services on Kaua‘i Iwalani Ka‘auwai-Herrod: “We’re very happy to partner with Kamehameha Schools because we have many children who are of Native Hawaiian descent in our foster care system. We’d really love for these children to have the opportunities that Kamehameha Schools can provide for all of our keiki. The center will be a great asset for our community.”
The event was also made possible thanks to the donation of 800 pairs of slippers for keiki by the Kaua‘i Lions Club, as well as native foliage donated by the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Lāwa‘i to surround the Community Hale.
About Kamehameha Schools
Founded in 1887 by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Kamehameha Schools (KS) is a private, educational, charitable Native Hawaiian trust committed to improving the capability and wellbeing of our people through education. Income generated from its endowment portfolio of Hawai`i commercial real estate and other diverse investments funds more than 96 percent of KS’ educational mission.
In 2015, KS embarked on a bold, exciting voyage that envisions, in one generation, a thriving Lāhui in which learners achieve postsecondary educational success, enabling good life and career choices. Grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values, learners will be leaders who contribute to their communities both locally and globally.
At the heart of this new journey are those who share this vision to ensure that all Native Hawaiians have the opportunity to succeed. Strong community collaborations, donor participation and key state, national and international partnerships are vital to creating the means to propel learners onto knowledge and career paths of their choice.
For more information, visit www.ksbe.edu and connect via Facebook and Instagram (@kamehamehaschools) and Twitter (@ksnews).
Media Contact: Kyle Galdeira