HCAP Weekly March 18, 2019

STEM Students Take Field Trip to the Lo’i 
Kumuhonua Resident Obtains Permanent Housing with Rapid Re-Housing Funds 
Na Lima Hana Helps Participant Obtain Job and Work Attire
HCAP Head Start Participates in the City’s Adopt-a-Park Program
Windward Kupuna Participate in Health, Nutrition, and Craft Activities


STEM Students Take Field Trip to the Lo’i

Photo of STEM Loi collage

This week, students from HCAP’s Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program, a 21st Century Community Learning Center, took a field trip to the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s Ka Papa Lo’i ‘O Kanewai taro patch. Sixty students and forty-one parents and guardians from the five STEM Exploration Centers were in attendance.

The students and families began their journey in the hale wa’a (canoe house). The kumu (teacher) told the group that building hales (houses) was a huge undertaking and that the ancient Hawaiians chose precise materials in order to build a strong hale structure.  The kumu also told the story of Kānewai and the revitalization of the ‘auwai, a man-made ditch that carries water.  The kumu explained the importance of continued water flow through both the lo’i and the people.

The group then hiked to the po’owai (water source) to learn about the water system and how water is diverted to the lo’i.  The kahawai (stream) flows from the mountains, to a māno wai (dam), and is then diverted into the ‘auwai, and down to the lo’i.

Upon their return from the hike, the students and parents were introduced to the traditional way of preparing the lo’i for planting. To prepare the lo’i for planting the students gathered leaves to lomi (massage) into the soil of the lo’i. Then the students and parents entered the lo’i and began stomping the leaves into the taro patch.

The group closed out the day with lunch. The kumu, a UH-Mānoa alumna and current staff at the Ka Papa Lo’i ‘O Kanewai , talked to the students and their families about college. She talked about the different career fields offered by UH-Mānoa, and how it can open many doors in life. Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program Manager Denise “Kehau” Miya, who was also in attendance, thanked the parents and guardians for being a part of this special day, and reminded the families of the wraparound services and programs provided by HCAP.


Kumuhonua Resident Obtains Permanent Housing with Rapid Re-Housing Funds

In 2016, Jane moved from California to Hawaii for an employment opportunity. Unfortunately, that employment opportunity fell through when the company went bankrupt.  Jane stayed in Hawaii, but ultimately, used up all her savings to pay for rent.  Jane ran out of money and eventually became homeless.

Following an 11-month stint at one of the shelters at the Institute for Human Services, Jane received and accepted a referral to the Kumuhonua Transitional Living Center. She moved into Kumuhonua in September 2017. Under the guidance of the case management staff at Kumuhonua, Jane was able to obtain state assistance. Jane also attended workshops on nutrition, budgeting, and savings, and gained the necessary skills needed to be self-sufficient.  She also worked very closely with Kumuhonua staff (the Case Manager, Housing Specialist, and Rapid Re-Housing Specialist), hoping to secure permanent housing.

In February 2019, Jane accomplished her goal, securing a unit at the Academy Garden Apartments in Honolulu with the help of funds from the Rapid Re-Housing Program.  Kumuhonua staff wishes Jane the best as she begins a new chapter in her life.


Na Lima Hana Helps Participant Obtain Job and Work Attire

Photo of Windward ECS

Riley was referred to HCAP’s Na Lima Hana Employment Core Services (ECS) Program by a friend who had been a past program participant. She was trying to find employment at the time and came in to the Windward District Service Center seeking assistance. As part of Job Readiness Training (JRT), the Windward District Service Center staff helped Riley create a resume, prepare for interviews, as well as search for employment opportunities.

A few weeks after completing JRT, Riley obtained full time employment.  Through the ECS program, Riley received work shoes and clothing to help give her a fresh start with her new job. She is currently employed at an office in downtown Honolulu, and is enjoying her time there.


HCAP Head Start Participates in the City’s Adopt-a-Park Program

Photo of HS Dole Clean-Up

On March 16th, HCAP Head Start staff participated in beautification efforts for Dole Park, as part of a continuing partnership with the City and County of Honolulu’s Adopt-a-Park program. They picked up trash and litter, removed graffiti, cut grass, and cleared the sideways and pathways. The Adopt-a-Park program allows individuals and organizations to “adopt” a park and help keep it clean.

HCAP Head Start chose to adopt Dole Park, which is nearby the Dole Head Start classroom. The program provides volunteers with the tools and supplies needed to help care for the park. A big mahalo to all those who came out and helped!


Windward Kupuna Participate in Health, Nutrition, and Craft Activities

Photo of Windward kupuna collage

Earlier this month, Windward District Service Center’s Kupuna Independent Life Series offered the kupuna health and nutrition workshops, interactive games, and activities.

For Week 5 of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) 6-week class, the University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service’s Lori Matsuoka led a session called “Rethink Your Drink!” They learned about how many teaspoons of sugar were in the sodas and juices that they love. Lori had the kupuna chanting, “Rethink your drink! Drink water!”

Following the SNAP-Ed class, Lori did a food demo, making a healthy salsa for the kupuna to try. After the food demo, she set up a bean bag toss game for everyone to play. Lori broke the kupuna into groups. In each group, the kupuna shared their names. The object of the game was to identify the name of the person the kupuna was throwing the bean bag to.

Cheryl Pedigo, the second guest speaker of the day, came to speak to the Windward kupuna about stroke awareness. In addition to being an educator at Adventist Health Castle, Cheryl also happens to be a stroke survivor. Many of the kupuna were able to connect with Cheryl, as she spoke from the heart, drawing her own personal experiences with stroke.

After Cheryl left, the Windward District Service Center staff and the kupuna did a tie-dye activity, creating colorful aprons for themselves. One of the kupuna is expecting a grand baby so she also made tie dye onesies and burp rags.