Mini Grants Landing Page

Mini-Grant Project Library

Teachers from Hawai’i public schools can apply for mini-grants to help advance their environmental education goals. Previous grantees have used KHF funds for garden supplies, eco-footprint workshops, vermicompost trainings, and more. One school has raised enough worms to start a commercial-scale vermicomposting bin for their campus food waste!

Composting at Kaʻelepulu

Kaʻelepulu Elementary School, Kailua

Kaʻelepulu Elementary School has been successful in establishing a hot composting and vermicomposting program to divert all food waste, school-wide, from breakfast and lunch to hot composting piles. They have also been able to reduce non-compostable waste and minimize excess plastic bag use by stacking trays and bowls, and compacting milk cartons. 5th graders learned how to to manage resources, use simple math application, data entry and maintenance, read scales and thermometers as part of this project. Utilizing the newly created soil, physics, physical science, math, and environmental lessons are being reinforced with hands-on garden lessons.

gallery icon Project Gallery

Mosaic Debris Mural Project

Jefferson Elementary School, Honolulu

All Grade K- 5 students from Jefferson Elementary worked with Artist in Resident Shannon McCarthy spending three class periods learning about marine debris and its impacts on our environment and sea life. Using marine debris collected from Oʻahu beaches, each student contributed pieces of plastic to complete the mural. Through the residency and mural project, students were taught to rethink their consumption of plastic and ways to help keep our oceans clean.

gallery icon Project Gallery

Stewards of the Earth

UH Mānoa Children's Center

The pre-school children at UH Mānoa Children's Center actively engaged in the “Stewards of the Earth” project. It was a two-fold preparation for an ongoing “sustainable” outdoor learning experience.

1) The children helped to scoop out the soil, perlite and sphagnum peat moss and mixed it up all together. Once incorporated, they delighted in planting fresh Winter Melon seeds in this rich medium. They continue to care for the seedlings and observe its growth as the days go by.
2) We set up the “Worm Café” as directed by the kit. The children used their hands to tear strips of newspaper and cardboard to small pieces while adding water to hydrate the coconut coir. Once all components were broken down we carefully mixed them all together to create a comfortable “bed” for the arrival of our vermi (red wigglers). Families excitedly brought in containers of kitchen scraps to feed our vermi. The children took turns adding water to the trays and keenly observed the excess water flow out of the spigot. In weeks ahead, we will take a closer look at how the compost will break down to a rich vermicast for our main purpose of utilizing the material for healthy plant growth in becoming more sustainable “Stewards of the Earth.”

TheKHF Mini-Grant afforded the UH Mānoa Children's Center with the resources to bring to light a wonderful opportunity to learn how to care for our earth in a fun, meaningful and purposeful way. The teachers, children and parents delighted in the hands on learning approach in helping children become “Stewards of the Earth” in a real way. These experiences are long and lasting in every sense.

gallery icon Project Gallery

ʻEleʻele Preschool Garden Project

ʻEleʻele Elementary School, Kauaʻi

ʻEleʻele Elementary School’s Preschool Garden Project was a wonderful success as a colorful and safe classroom space. With its automated irrigation system, the easy-to-maintain area will expand integrating the outdoors into the preschool’s daily schedule to help improve students motor function, teamwork, and social skills.

gallery icon Project Gallery

Urban Garden Expansion

Huakailani School for Girls, Kailua, Oʻahu

Huakailani School for Girls, in the heart of Kailua town expanded their schoolʻs already existing urban garden, linked their waste-free bokashi, and further utilized their worm composting program. The harvests increased student vegetable consumption, as the students learned to cook and eat their produce on a weekly basis.

gallery icon Project Gallery

Food Waste Reduction Program

Kainalu Elementary School, Oʻahu

Kainalu Elementary purchased a large scale vermicompost pipeline to take their Food Waste Reduction Program to the next level. By collecting cafeteria food waste, the students have been able to feed their worms, as well as, create rich vermicast and worm tea to nourish their ʻĀINA gardens. Sandra Bode’s third grade students have become masters of the project as they have come to love to learn, interact, and care for the worms.

gallery icon Project Gallery

From Field to Table

Island Pacific Academy, Oʻahu

Island Pacific Academy 1st graders explored how food makes it to their table during this project. Each student had their own container to observe their own plants. By comparing their individual plants with the variety of plants that were planted in the schoolʻs three large garden beds, the students used authentic real world plant observations, as well as, exercises in higher thinking skills.

gallery icon Project Gallery

ʻĀINA In Schools Nutrition Education

Koko Head Elementary School, Honolulu

In an effort to provide students with nutrition education two teachers who participated in the ʻĀINA In Schools Nutrition Education and Garden-Based Learning Curriculum Training for Educators, implemented lessons with their grade 3 and grade 5 students. A total of 60 students in each grade level participated and were impacted by nutrition and garden lessons. To demonstrate students knowledge and understanding, teachers collected summative and formative data and anecdotes from students.
The KHF Mini-Grant funds were used to implement the ʻĀINA In Schools Nutrition Education lessons. "The lesson plans were so well done and easy to implement in the classroom. We were able to purchase all the items we needed to get started with the lessons and will continue them with future classes. The students were so enthusiastic about the lessons and really enjoyed the cooking activities. What we enjoyed most was seeing the students excited about eating vegetables and healthy foods. We were able to demonstrate how simple it was to cook delicious, healthy food. I would recommend this program to anyone!"

gallery icon Project Gallery

Hanalei Taro Presentation and Demonstration

Kamiloiki Elementary School

Kamilokiki Elementary School bought in two kalo farmers from Hanalei Taro on Kauaʻi to speak to 4th graders about how to grow and cultivate kalo, a plant that is so important to the Hawaiian culture. The farmers taught the students about the parts of the kalo plant, what each part can be used for, and the difficulties that kalo farmers encounter. In addition to the presentation, they brought 30 pre-cooked kalo roots for the students to look at, make observations and inferences about, and pond into paiʻiʻai, a pure mixture of kalo and water to take home. They also brought samples of two desserts that are made from kalo for all of the students and teachers: taro mochi and kulolo.

This opporutnity was shared not only with the students, but with teachers at Kamiloiki as well. The Principal, Hawaiiana teacher, Mandarin teacher, and librarian also shared in the experience wiuth the students, two of whom are not originally from Hawaiʻi.

"This was an amazing opportunity and experience for our students and faculty that would not have been possible without the help and support from Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation," Daniel Adachi, 4th Grade Teacher.

gallery icon Project Gallery

Kolea Gardens Project

Enchanted Lake Elementary School

The PreK & Kindergarten students at Enchanted Lake Elementary are learning life and earth science through gardening. The Kolea Gardens Project enables each class to have a garden outside their classrooms, where they conduct observations and experiments to meet Hawaiʻi Content and Performance Standards in science, language arts, mathematics and/or fine arts.

gallery icon Project Gallery

GreenHouse Growing Project

Lanikai Elementary Public Charter School

Addition of a greenhouse at Lanikai Elementary Public Charter School helped students 6th graders gain accessibility to model small scale farming in a mechanically controlled environment.

They mulched the interior of the Greenhouse and set tables up. They used their Kaoʻhao signature soil potting mix to grow cherry tomato plants from seed. The tomato plants loved being in the Greenhouse. 100% of the seedlings emerged and grew into healthy tomato plants which were given away to students and parents.

Parker Sawyer, 6th Grade Science Teacher is excited to begin the Kao'hao Greenhouse Trials and will have the students come up with controlled experiments that will run for three months in the Greenhouse. They will take data as a class on a daily basis. Temperature readings will be taken everyday in the Greenhouse.

Parents have stopped by to ask if they can help out in the Garden and the Greenhouse. We are hoping to have the biggest plant sale yet this October during the Lanikai School Fall Festival.

gallery icon Project Gallery

Nutrition Garden Project

Waimānalo Elementary School

The 4th - 6th graders at Waimānalo Elementary School planted a garden to bring Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation’s ʻĀINA in Schools hands-on nutrition lessons outside of the classroom. Teacher Catilin Tillotson took the ʻĀINA In Schools Curriculum Training for Educators course and used KHF Mini-Grant funding to purchase tools, seedlings, and other garden supplies to bring the curriculum to life and focus messaging around “close to the source” foods.

gallery icon Project Gallery

ʻĀi Pono Garden

Kahului Elementary School

Kahului Elementary’s “Aina Pono Garden” project started in the Fall of 2013 when a couple first grade teachers envisioned a garden in front of their classrooms. After much dedication, time, costs, parents and community companies donated time and talent to make their garden a reality. With the help of a KHFʻs Mini-Grant, many improvements and supplies were purchased to keep the garden’s vision true.

Throughout the years, the teachers created lessons and hands-on experiences in science, reading, math, and writing. Student learned about maintaining an organic garden, watering composting, soil, and insects. They also grew their own plants to take home for holiday gifts.

First Grade Teacher Kelly Sacapanio highly recommends learning in the garden for students.

gallery icon Project Gallery

Rain Garden Project

Blanche Pope Elementary School

Funding from Kokua Hawai'i Foundationʻs Mini-Grant Program provided tools and plants for Blanche Pope Elementary Schoolʻs “Rain Garden Project.” Using the Aina schools Nutrition and Garden PD3 program, teacher Brynn Leake offered lessons on how to grow and maintain native plants. The 2nd grade students were provided hands-on, place and project-based learning experiences that allowed a strong understanding of how rain gardens and native Hawaiian plants help to malama our ocean and streams.

The lessons resulted in thriving kalo plants, kupukupu (fishbone ferns), native sledge, akia, ‘ilima, uki’uki, pohinahina, ma’o (endangered hibiscus), and olena. Congratulations to Brynn Leake and Blanche Pope Elementary Schoolʻs 2nd grade for a job well-done!

gallery icon Project Gallery

Kawaikini PCS School Garden

Kawaikini Public Charter School, Lihue, Kauai

Kawaikini Public Charter School is developing a comprehensive 1-acre sustainable garden system that is also incorporating a plan for animal husbandry. Students are learning cooking and nutrition skills, as they provide and prepare food for special events, snacks, and meals. Kawaikini PCSʻs goal to become a Farm toSchool Model on Kauai.

gallery icon Project Gallery

See Video

#sporkitup

Maui

#Sporkitup is a film and social media campaign by Maui Huliau students to encourage Maui youth to reduce their use of single-use plastic by using reusable bamboo sporks in place of plastic utensils at school and when eating out. The #sporkitup project originated from the reusable sporks that our students use to avoid single-use plastic during student trips. Since thousands of plastic utensils are thrown away every day at almost every school on Maui, these Huliau students decided to use a film and Instagram campaign to empower their fellow students to stop using plastic utensils. Below you can find more information on this project including our #Sporkitup Instagram Challenge for high school students, our student’s promo video and events where the general public can find sporks.

gallery icon Project Gallery

Aquaponics Garden Project

Seagull School, Kapolei, Oʻahu

The process of aquaponics was first explained to the teachers, then the children assisted in providing a home environment for the aquaponic fish and seedlings. Throughout the months, the students fed their fish and observed their growing plants. This Aquaponics Garden Project fit the student curriculum on insect, plant, and animal life cycles. Congratulations to Ms. Nakagawa-Soberano and students for all the positive feedback from the other teachers and parents for your wonderful hands-on classroom garden project.

gallery icon Project Gallery

Special Education Vital Skills Recycle Project

Kapolei High School
Kapolei, Oʻahu

Kapolei High School’s “Special Education Vital Skills Recycle Project” encourages Special Education students to interact with their teachers and peers on campus. Participating students also learn valuable skills such as following a schedule, sorting by different materials, counting bottles and cans, and differentiating what can and cannot be recycled. This project encourages the campus staff and students to recycle more as their recycle bins are emptied on a regular basis. Additionally, the Special Education students take pride in their job as they contribute to keeping Kapolei High School an environmentally friendly campus.

Aiea Aquaponics/Agriculture Project

Aiea High School
Aiea, Hawaii

Project created to establish and maintain an aquaponic system at Aiea High School and make use of the and maintain land behind the school to create a farmland setting all for educational purposes. The project will be an on-going effort to educate students now and in the future about the math, science, and labor behind aquaculture, aquaponics, hydroponics, and agriculture, and the difference between each.

Building a Healthier Campus:  Mind, Body and Community

Holy Nativity School
Honolulu, HI

Holy Nativity School’s (HNS) mission for academic years 2012-2014 is to move toward a healthier campus in mind. (i.e. improve the rigor of the education by promoting out of classroom and project-based learning), body (i.e, address the way our children understand nutrition and engage in movement noth on and off campus), and community (i.e, working to make the campus more “green” for the godd of the student and the greater East Oahu region through green initiatives and community service). For this application, HNS seeks Kokua Hawaii Foundation’s help to support the “community” component, mainly to contribute the school’s initiative to help reduce the campus’s contribution of land-based run-off in an effort to help improve the health of Maunalua Bay.

Konawaena High School Garden Project

Konawaena High School
Konawaena, Hawaiʻi


Konawaena High School student Rebecca Crabtree used Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation Mini Grant funds to support her senior project aimed at growing healthy, fresh food on campus. Crabtree partnered with her teacher and mentor Ms. Mary Lyn Garner along with the school administration, agriculture club, fellow students, and cafeteria staff, to install irrigation, build a fence, build new garden beds, and create a compost system. Produce harvested from this garden is now prepared and served at the school’s new salad bar every two weeks. Kudos to the Konawaena High School crew for making this all happen!

Native Plant Rain Garden

Waiʻalae Public Charter School
Honolulu, HI

In partnership with Malama Maunalua,we have started our first phase of researching native plants that would be most appropriate for the Kaimuki area. We are currently in touch with a nursery who will be helping us with this selection and we are also working with Malama Maunalua to plan and implement the project. We are going to get both plants and seeds (some by donation, some by purchase) and allow the seeds to grow in pots until they are ready for planting. We are anticipating this process to take around 4-6 months (advice from nursery). So our goal is to get the plants started this summer and then this upcoming school year we will get them planted. We are also planning to use rain barrels. The installation of them will take some time too because the drain that will feed the barrels are made of steel so we will need to get this handled by a professional who can assist us. It is a big project and one that we are excited about!