Project Kalo Preschool’s early education program helps Native Hawaiians

Early education can give children a great start in life by teaching them formal learning and socialization. A program called Project Kalo Preschool aims to help Native Hawaiian children.

 

It’s put on by a non-profit Hawaii Island group, Kanu o ka ʻĀina Learning ʻOhana (KALO) and its partners, who are working to establish an autonomous, holistic, education environment for the children of Hawaiʻi that includes teaching ancient Hawaiian values while at the same time preparing children for success in the modern world.

 

Project Kalo Preschool provides developmental and academic support for Native Hawaiian children and their families at three West Hawaii schools and is funded by donations from KALO supporters.

 

“From 2001 to 2012, the program was funded by the US Department of Education, but as funding dropped, the KALO ohana stepped forward with generous donations of $300,000 each year since then to continue this important program. The funding allows for the hiring of two teachers, three part-time teachers, four tutors and one project coordinator to serve 123 students, ages 3 to 5, at Waimea, Waikoloa, and Honaunau Elementary Schools. About one dozen volunteers also assist throughout the school year, along with the participation of our committed parents,” says Ms. Taffi Wise, KALO’s Executive Director.

 

Early education programs help kids get started early by supporting their mental, social and emotional development. Children who are well prepared for school can focus on learning and achieve more in school and throughout life.

 

“At Project Kalo, our testing has shown remarkable results year after year. By age four, 97% of our students recognize upper and lower-case letters and 87% recognize letter sounds. In vocabulary, 95% of three-year-old students show results at or above their age equivalent, and this rises to 100% by age five, as they enter kindergarten. This gives children a huge head start as they move into grade school,” continues Wise.

 

Parents in the Project Kalo program are required to participate weekly with their children to establish good learning habits and facilitate a strong learning environment at home. Parents commit a total of 80 hours per school year to work with their keiki or with teachers to receive developmental support.

 

Families develop a greater understanding of what is needed to succeed and establish a framework for learning at home, which his critical to early learning and helps the students to succeed throughout their schooling.

 

More about it at www.kalo.org.

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