As the end of 2021 nears, we hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones safe, happy, and healthy. Schools, communities, and families have had to deal with the disruption of recent severe weather, water contamination, and power outages, adding stress and uncertainty on top of the ongoing pandemic. We are indeed like the ʻaʻaliʻi plant, strong, resilient and adaptable through all of these challenges. We urge community members to look out for each other during this time of need, but also take time to celebrate the holiday season and our shared resilience in the way that best suits you.
RCSF cohort school Mountain View Elementary School (MVES) in Mountain View on Hawaii Island is an incredible school that continues to demonstrate its care for keiki, ‘ohana, and educators. School leaders have shared how one of their goals is to ensure the school is a safe place for kids where they can find joy in learning and connection. The school has partnered with community organizations such as East Hawaii Kiwanis, Hilo Crescent City Lions Club, and Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water to provide slippers, backpacks and water to students.
While the pandemic has been challenging for all schools, MVES has leaned into opportunities to strengthen connections with its community. School staff have been welcomed into the homes of families, a practice that has clear value regardless of a pandemic. MVES school leaders also provided childcare to teachers during the pandemic to ensure they have staff coverage and removing any barrier related to teachers being able to teach during the pandemic.
Check out the short video below that helps to capture what makes the school so special.
The RCSF team has collaborated with schools to identify their SEL-related needs. Once needs were identified, schools submitted short applications to describe their intentions for using the $5,800 mini-grant and produced SEL Action Plans. The applications included the purchase of curriculum materials (such as Choose Love and Second Step), equipment to create campus collateral (SEL banners, art), materials to create “sensory walks”, and substitute teacher compensation to support SEL-related needs. The table below highlights use of SEL funding and their indicators of success.
Educator’s Edge features Hawaii educators with diverse perspectives & strengths and yet aligned in surprising & meaningful ways! Additionally, episodes share insight about the pandemic’s impact on students & educators today.
Check out 10 great tips from the Kauaʻi Resilience Project for building youth resilience. While every kid is different, many of these strategies focus on the power of connection and empowerment.
Keiki Heroes provides free art tutorials in collaboration with local artists across Hawai’i. Superpowers Art Adventure empowers keiki to draw on their strength and contribute to our community. Art elevates children’s voices, validates their contributions and shares their optimistic messages with the community so in need of inspiration and hope.
The long-term goal of the Resilient Communities, Schools and Families project is to build long-term resilience, well-being and community abundance. As such, the project goes beyond communities and children merely surviving difficult situations, but instead finding their own strength and thriving. We hope to cultivate a spirit of hope and possibility to support the holistic wellbeing of the students of today and tomorrow. Please let us know if you can join this movement.
This work is a true community effort and is made possible through the generous support of our partners, including:
- Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund at the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation
- The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
- U.S. Department of Education’s Native Hawaiian Education Program