City Council Lauds Ka Pa‘alana School

The Honolulu City Council presented Ka Pa'alana Traveling Preschool with an honorary certificate. Pictured (front, from left) are: Terry Nakamura, Zelia Poepoe, Kasey Galariada, Danny Goya, Roxanne Poepoe, Councilwoman Kymberly Marcos Pine, Stacey Kauka, Sheree Sakai, (back row) Councilmembers Ernest Martin, Carol Fukunaga, Stanley Chang, Ikaika Anderson, Joey Manahan, Ann Kobayashi, Ron Menor and Breene Harimoto. Photo from Kymberly Pine's office.

The efforts of Partners in Development Foundation’s Ka Pa’alana Traveling Preschool recently were honored by the Honolulu City Council during its Aug. 7 meeting.

“We’re very privileged to be a part of the Leeward Coast community and are privileged to be a part of what is hopefully the solution to finding paths of success for our children and families,” said PID Foundation president Jan E. Hanohano Dill in a release. “(We are) incorporating Hawaiian culture and values as a structure to teach skill sets to our children and families, so that they can have an opportunity to apply these wonderful and timeless Hawaiian values as they grow in their communities.”

Dill founded PID Foundation in 1997. The organization offers a variety of programs that bridge the gap between current issues facing the Hawaiian community and cultural traditions.

According to its website, “Partners in Development creates and implements programs to address the needs of at-risk groups within the Hawaiian community, such as preschool children, their caregivers and economically depressed neighborhoods.”

The organization began offering its traveling pre-school in January 2007. Ka Pa’alana enables an interactive learning environment that includes both the parents and children. It is a Family Child Interactive Learning (FCIL) preschool, and is the first and only in the nation serving the homeless that is accredited by the National Association for Education of Young Children.

“The traveling preschool is really a unique opportunity to help our keiki and their caregivers who otherwise cannot access or afford quality preschool,” stated City Councilwoman Kymberly Marcos Pine.

Five components comprise the Ka Pa’alana Homeless Family Education Program. When contact is first made with the family, a modified Family Child Interactive Learning experience is provided. At this time, families also received food, and educational and social services from other participating shelters and agencies. Families are then moved to shelters or housing.

According to the organization, since its inception it has assisted with moving more than 250 houseless families off of beaches, and has delivered more than 50 tons of food to those in need.

Throughout the remainder of the program, children and their parents are educated and equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to enter school.

“They learn everything they need to be developmentally, socially and cognitively ready for kindergarten,” said Danny Goya, Ka Pa’alana program manager.

Goya said that while receiving the recognition was great, it meant much more because a program participant was present for the meeting.

“It was good to see this parent who has worked really hard in our preschool get that recognition from Councilwoman Pine and the whole City Council,” he said.

Essentially, the goal of the program is “basically to break the cycle of poverty through interacting, family-child education.”

For those interested in assisting the organization’s efforts, it always is looking for support, whether in the form of donations or volunteers.

“Homelessness is a problem that we all have to kokua in,” said Goya.

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