HCAP Weekly June 12, 2017

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In this week’s issue:

Homeless Na Lima Hana Participant Finds Employment
Hā Initiative Receives Funding from Hawaiian Electric Companies
Kumuhonua Resident Transitions to Permanent Housing
Central STEM Students Learn about Matter and Energy
How to Save Energy and Money This Summer
HCAP Head Start Accepting Applications for the 2017-2018 School Year


Homeless Na Lima Hana Participant Finds Employment

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Earlier in the year, Christian had his taxes filed through HCAP’s Income Tax Services/Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Program at the Windward District Service Center. While filing his taxes, HCAP staff discovered that Christian was currently unemployed and homeless. Even in these circumstances, Christian was upbeat and willing to do whatever was needed to find employment. He enrolled in the Na Lima Hana Employment Core Services (ECS) Program at Windward District Service Center. While completing Job Readiness Training (JRT) at the ECS program, Christian applied for employment at various companies. It was his enthusiasm that paved the way for employment with IL Gelato Hawaii, where he is learning to make the Italian ice cream. Christian continues to work hard and with continued help from HCAP, hopes to find and utilize the support services needed to obtain permanent housing.


Hā Initiative Receives Funding from Hawaiian Electric Companies

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HCAP would like to thank the Hawaiian Electric Companies for their recent donation to HCAP. HCAP was one of five nonprofit organizations selected to receive funds to advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning and enrichment programs for Hawaii students and educators. These funds will be used to enhance HCAP’s Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program at 5 locations on the island of Oahu. The Hā Initiative is a free, year-round program that provides opportunities for students, grades 2 to 8, to improve their math and science skills. Mahalo to the Hawaiian Electric Companies for supporting the program!


Kumuhonua Resident Transitions to Permanent Housing

In November 2015, Latesha and her son entered the Kumuhonua Transitional Living Center. Both Latesha and son had transitioned to Kumuhonua from the Waianae Civic Center (WCC) Emergency Shelter. Prior to WCC, they had been renting an apartment in the Waipahu area, but due to unforeseen circumstances they were kicked out of their home. With all of their family living off-island and having a fixed income, the eviction became a great challenge for Latesha.

During her stay at Kumuhonua, Latesha was determined to meet the following goals: to better herself, to set an example for her son, and lastly, to find permanent housing. The case managers at Kumuhonua provided support and guidance with workshops on financial literacy, and helped Latesha open and maintain a savings account.

In May 2017, Latesha successfully gained permanent housing in Downtown Honolulu. While Latesha transitioned to permanent housing, her son has remained at Kumuhonua. But Latesha’s son is confident that he, too, will make a successful transition as his mother did. Latesha has fulfilled all of the aforementioned goals, and hopes to instill hope and independence in her son. Latesha recently set a new goal for herself: she registered for school, hoping to further her education in the medical field.


Central STEM Students Learn about Matter and Energy

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This week, the students at the Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program’s Central STEM Exploration Center have been studying matter and energy in all its forms. They looked at the differences between chemical and physical reactions and participated in a discussion about different states of matter. The students performed an experiment, combining baking soda with vinegar. They learned that baking soda and vinegar react with each other because baking soda is a base and the vinegar is an acid.

The class also learned about potential energy, kinetic energy, and the differences between the two. To better illustrate the dynamics of the two kinds of energy, the students were asked to participate in a simple foot race. The students identified their starting positions as potential energy and the act of racing as kinetic energy. After completing the foot race, the class examined a car race. The class had a ramp and a Hot Wheels car that would race down the ramp. The students understood that the car was exhibiting potential energy when it was at the top of the ramp. But as the car raced down the ramp, the students understood that potential energy was lost but kinetic energy was gained. The students enjoyed the hands-on activities, as once abstract concepts become much easier to understand.


How to Save Energy and Money This Summer

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Energy bills can skyrocket during the summer. If you are trying to cut down costs at home or work, here are some simple energy-efficient summer tips from the Weatherization Assistance Program.

1. Keep the blinds and windows closed during the day and open at night. This is a no-cost way to keep your home a little cooler.

2. Window, ceiling and whole-house fans are also low-cost ways to stay comfortable.

3. Minimize indoor heat: run the dryer at night on hot days. Avoid heat-generating incandescent lighting and use a microwave, toaster oven or outdoor grill instead of the oven. It’s best to avoid the use of major appliances between 2 and 8 p.m.

4. Set your water heater to 120°F or less.

5. Wash clothes in cold water and clean the lint filter in the dryer after every use.

6. Cut down on energy leaks. This includes turning off lights and other electronics. When you leave a room, shut off the light behind you. Unplug electronics that aren’t being used, such as cell phone chargers, small appliances like toasters, or power strips that provide power for many appliances. Big-screen TVs, DVD players, digital photo frames, and other appliances use more energy than you realize. Unplugging an appliance is best because certain appliances use energy even if they are turned off.

7. Eliminate, or deactivate, extra freezers or refrigerators if you can, especially if they spend the summer outdoors or in a garage.

8. Spend time outdoors. Spending a lot of time indoors will naturally lead to higher energy costs because you will be using lights, electronics, and air conditioning. Spending more time outdoors means you can turn off indoor electronics, and in the process, you will have fun going to the beach, the park, the movies, and so on.


HCAP Head Start Accepting Applications for the 2017-2018 School Year

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Are you or someone you know in need of comprehensive early childhood education? Spread the word! HCAP Head Start is now accepting applications for children 3-5 years for the 2017-2018 school year. Families are encouraged to apply by calling (808) 847-2400 or visiting our website.