KS cultivates community collaborations to make collective impact

Jun. 3, 2016

Contributed by Leanne Okamoto

The Kamehameha Schools Community Engagement and Resources Group (CE&R) reflects a new organizational paradigm that focuses on improving educational outcomes for Native Hawaiians collectively with partners, by aligning KS and community resources within nine regions across the state.

The formation of the group was guided by Kūhanauna – KS’ Strategic Plan for 2015-2020. The CE&R team  has cultivated relationships with two valuable community collaborators – one on Hawaiʻi island and the other on Oʻahu’s Waiʻanae Coast.

The Hōkūpaʻa Summit – West Hawaiʻi
KS recently took part in the Hōkūpaʻa Summit, an event orchestrated by the Hawaii State Department of Education and Hōkūpaʻa, a UH-Hilo community development project. The purpose of the summit was to discuss and understand how to improve student engagement. 

Summit participants also included middle and high school students and educators from the Hōkūpaʻa Youth Council, Kanu o ka ʻĀina Public Charter School and 19 public schools from across the West Hawaiʻi.

The Hōkūpaʻa project is aimed at empowering youth, supporting schools, and building bridges for community partnerships. Its program collaborators include the County of Hawaiʻi, Friends of the Future and The Learning Coalition.

“Hōkūpaʻa is a fairly new project and we are grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with community and haumāna” said Jamee Miller, KS West Hawaiʻi regional director.  “There is excitement in bringing together such a diverse group to witness relationships and collaborations evolve.”

KS is also partnering with communities in other regions to bring people together to design local-based solutions to achieve social change.

Alignment HI96792 – West O‘ahu
KS is among the community collaborators of Alignment HI96792, a collective impact framework for Waiʻanae Coast schools to achieve shared goals for student success. 

The mission of AHI 96792 is to align community resources to meet the needs of haumāna in public schools. The strategies identified through the effort are intended to raise student achievement and improve student health and wellbeing. 

Efforts include establishing a structure, processes, shared goals and supportive technologies that will help connect resources in a coordinated effort to positively impact school success, health and community.

The underlying premise of the work is that no single organization can create large-scale, lasting social change alone. Other AHI96792 collaborators include the DOE, UH-Manoa, Maʻo Organic Farm and INPEACE.

“Through Alignment Hawaiʻi 96792, we are seeing more collaboration between existing community resources and the schools in the Nānākuli-Waiʻanae Complex Area,” said Kalei Kaʻilihiwa, KS director of community programs. “It is truly an exciting time to be a part of this collective effort to support schools and haumāna.”

It all starts with you!

To find out more information,
or participate in these collective initiatives, visit AHI 96792
or the Hōkūpaʻa Project

Retired DOE educator David Fuertes and Hōkūpaʻa Youth Council members Javan Perez and Ashanti Carotan discuss how teachers can connect with students to improve engagement. Fuertes currently lectures at Kanu O Ka ʻĀina Charter School and works with youth mentorship programs.

Kohala High School students Anela Medeiros and Cole Fuertes showcase the work being done through their participation in the Hōkūpaʻa Youth Council.

Vayas Hale and his fellow Kealakehe Intermediate School classmates created an interactive display to show the connections between our students, schools, communities, health and the environment.