Schools Get White House Grant

Early intervention is critical for children’s good mental health, and a White House initiative is backing that premise with $12.7 million in support for three Hawaii public school complexes, including Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua.

Called “Now is the Time,” the initiative aims to keep schools safer and increase access to mental health programs. A combination of federal infrastructure grants will be spent over five years in areas considered “high risk.” Central Oahu schools’ enrollment of the state’s greatest number of military dependents was a major factor in the complex’s selection.

“We look forward to building on our systems of support, increasing family outreach and collaborating with partner agencies,” stated schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

School personnel will receive training in intervention, case management, data collection and analysis, plus anti-bullying and family engagement strategies.

Other tools include $1.9 million from the state Department of Education’s annual Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) and $608,901 in School Climate Transformation grants.

The two other selected complexes are Nanakuli-Waianae and Kau-Keaau-Pahoa.