HCAP Weekly March 02, 2015

In this week’s issue:

HCAP Selects a New Head Start Program Manager
Kristi Yamaguchi Brings Raising a Reader Assembly to Kalihi Kai Head Start
Leeward District Service Center Tax Program Engages First-To-Work Volunteers
Hā Initiative Students Showcase Latest Software Project
Leahi Client Benefits from HCAP’s Services
Hā Initiative Exploration Center Celebrates Reading with ‘Shelfie’

HCAP Selects a New Head Start Program Manager

Photo of Jennifer Tanele
HCAP is pleased to announce that Jennifer Tanele has been named its newest Head Start Program Manager.

Jennifer has over 16 years of relevant experience, having started with HCAP in 1998 as a Head Start Teacher. In 2014, she became a Head Start Teacher Mentor, supporting teaching staff and conducting training. Most recently, Jennifer has been serving as Interim Head Start Program Manager. The Head Start Program Manager supervises a cluster of Teachers and Family Advocates, and develops, monitors, and evaluates the delivery of a Head Start component system through an interdisciplinary approach, as outlined by National Head Start Performance Standards.

Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education/Early Childhood Development and a Master of Education in Instructional Leadership from Wayland Baptist University.

Robert Piper, HCAP Executive Director, states “Jennifer is another example of the talented and dedicated staff we have within our Head Start program. It is always rewarding to know that we have such qualified candidates who are ready and willing to embrace increased responsibility in order to provide the best experience possible for our children and families.”

Lynn Cabato, HCAP Head Start Director, adds that “Over the years, Jennifer has built many positive relationships with Head Start staff and families. She is comfortable in the public arena, having sat on speaker panels on family engagement and selected to be a trainer in family engagement through the Head Start National Center of Excellence on Family, Parent, and Community Engagement. I expect her transition to Head Start Program Manager will be a smooth one, and I look forward to working with Jennifer in her new role.”

HCAP congratulates Jennifer on her achievements and is excited that HCAP Head Start will continue to benefit from her knowledge and experience.

Kristi Yamaguchi Brings Raising a Reader Assembly to Kalihi Kai Head Start

Photo of Krisit Yamaguci
Olympic Gold Medalist Figure Skater Kristi Yamaguchi recently visited Kalihi Kai Elementary School to inspire the HCAP Head Start, Preschool, and Kindergarten children to reach for their dreams. She promoted her Always Reading Program, Raising a Reader, by reading her very own published book, “Dream Big Little Pig”.

Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation and literacy program focuses on combining technology with books to raise early childhood literacy skills, increasing overall academic success, and inspiring children to dream big.

Leeward District Service Center Tax Program Engages First-To-Work Volunteers

Photo of Leeward Volunteers
HCAP’s Leeward District Service Center provides volunteer work opportunities for approximately 50 welfare recipients a year, taking on janitorial, clerical, landscaping tasks, and an opportunity to prepare taxes this year. For participants Rosie, Jessica and Amber, becoming involved in HCAP’s Earned Income Tax Credit Program has been both a challenge and a learning experience.

Rosie, Jessica and Amber began their service with the Leeward District Service Center in September, assisting with janitorial and clerical duties, as well as participating in monthly food distributions though Ohana Produce. In January, they were approached by community workers Tayshea and Georgette and were encouraged to volunteer to be tax preparers. The thought of being able to add new skills to their resume was exciting, although they knew the process would not be easy.

The three women had to first take basic and advance certification exams on an IRS-sponsored website. All district staff members must have tax law knowledge at an advanced level in order to prepare taxes for the public. Once they passed the advanced exam, the women attended an all-day training session with regular district staff, where they learned how to deal with a multitude of tax scenarios.

After a month of preparing taxes, the First-To-Work volunteers have gained experience in interviewing clients, working through various strategies in resolving tax issues, understanding the importance of professionalism in an office setting and how to communicate among working staff. The process of having volunteers work at a site in different capacities gives the opportunity to select applicants from a reserve of qualified individuals that have been trained by district staff for the Leeward District Service Center. It is an important and crucial process in the development of self-reliant clientele on the Waianae Coast.

Hā Initiative Students Showcase Latest Software Project

STEM Software project
This week, the Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program Kalihi-Palama STEM Exploration Center showcased their big HCAP software project, “Community Action Kid” at their family night event. “Help Community Action Kid improve his community and have fun at the same time in this award-winning video game that teaches life lessons about the importance of teamwork, doing your part, as well as math, technology, and animation!” Students worked hard during the week to polish up their characters and animations, created voice overs, and added sound and visual effects for their big demo.

Here are links to the games:

Community Action Kid – Homework Helper
Community Action Kid – Healthy Eating
Community Action Kid – Community Cleanup

Leahi Client Benefits from HCAP’s Services

Photo of Leahi
Maria is a returning client to HCAP’s Leahi District Service Center. Last year, the office assisted her with the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) due to the fact she was unemployed and struggling with her health. This year, she came back to the office to utilize the free tax preparation service that HCAP offers. Since her visit last year, Maria’s health has improved and she is currently employed full-time. She is excited to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit and thankful that HCAP offers this free tax program.

Hā Initiative Exploration Center Celebrates Reading with ‘Shelfie’

The Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program Windward STEM Exploration Center has a message to share: “Don’t take a Selfie; take a Shelfie!”

To celebrate reading, students came up with the term “shelfie” where you take a picture with your favorite book off of the book shelf. They decided that their shelfie would be a class picture with a treasured poetry book “A Giraffe and a Half” by Shel Silverstein. What luck, the classroom happened to have a class mascot giraffe, “Giraffey.”

Afterwards, students did a story time by checking out another one of Silverstein’s poems, “When I was Your Age,” in his poetry collection Falling Up. The students enjoyed the clever poem about an uncle who tries to “one-up” his nine-year-old with boasts. Afterwards, the class divided up into small groups and came up with their own “When I was Your Age” poem to record on iMovies. The poems are now displayed on the classroom’s white board, part of their new “Shelfie” wall.