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2017-18 Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation Year End Report

July 06, 2018

Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation supports environmental education in Hawai‘i’s schools and communities. Our mission is to provide students with experiences that will enhance their appreciation for and understanding of their environment so they will be lifelong stewards of the earth. During the 2017-2018 school year we reached thousands of children through our programs:    


‘ĀINA In Schools is a farm to school initiative that connects children to their local land, waters, and food to grow a healthier Hawai‘i.

Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation works directly with 23 Oʻahu elementary schools that have implemented the ʻĀINA In Schools program. 154 educators from 68 schools and educational organizations across Oʻahu were trained this school year to implement the ʻĀINA garden, composting, and nutrition curricula with hundreds of students across the state. Three new ʻĀINA Schools were added this year. 123 Nutrition Docents led 890 nutrition lessons, reaching 2,512 students, while 250 garden and compost docents delivered 1,952 garden and compost lessons to 5,596 students. These docents also shared their time attending docent trainings and caring for the school gardens. 150 students participated in 13 weekly garden clubs.

15 partner chefs provided 14 ʻĀINA Chef Visits to schools this semester with nearly 1,000 students making healthy, kid-friendly recipes with local and school garden-sourced ingredients. A local farmer provided Classroom Visits to nearly 400 students at 5 schools. ‘ĀINA Schools provided 53 ‘ĀINA-themed educational outreach events including film screenings, cooking workshops, wellness nights, farmers’ markets, CSAs, and
other ʻĀINA-themed fundraising. Over 338 family, school staff, and community members volunteered at 11 Garden Parties. 34 teachers, ʻĀINA docents, and parents attended our Farm to School Field Trips for Educators, visiting ʻĀINA schools, farms, and restaurants.

ʻĀINA In Schools partnered with Department of Health, Department of Education, and Mālama Kauaʻi, Island Pacific Academy, Kamehameha Schools, Ulu Aʻe Learning Center, Blue Zones Hawaiʻi, and Aloun Farms to provide hands-on professional development ʻĀINA Curriculum Trainings to 154 educators across 68 Oʻahu and Kauaʻi schools.


Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation Mini-Grants support teachers and students from Hawai‘i schools in advancing their environmental education goals and pursuing innovative stewardship projects in and out of the classroom.

8,387 students from 81 schools participated in environmental projects supported by KHF Mini-Grants this year. Projects focused on school gardens, farming for local families, plastic-free campuses, vermicomposting, nutrition lessons, and waste reduction. 24 of these grants were part of the Hawaiʻi Youth Sustainability Challenge and empowered 671 students to develop and lead their own sustainability initiatives. Projects included native forest restoration, campus garden food production, vermicomposting, aquaponics, and food waste reduction initiatives.


Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation Field Trip Grants give schools the financial assistance needed to bring students to outdoor sites where they can experience hands-on learning about Hawaiʻi’s environment.

This semester Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation granted field trip support to 8,370 students from 58 schools. Field trip destinations included: Bishop Museum, Hawaiʻi National Volcanoes Park, Hawaiʻi Nature Center, Hoa ʻĀina o Mākaha, Hoʻoulu ʻĀina, Kaʻala Farms, Kahumana Organic Farm, Kahuku Farms, Kākoʻo ‘Ōiwi, Kuʻu Home Kulāiwi, Loko Ea Fishpond, Lyon Arboretum, MAʻO Organic Farms, Mari’s Gardens, Maui Ocean Center, Nā Mea Kūpono, Papahana Kuaola, Waiāhole Nursery & Garden Center, Waihuena Farm, Waimea Valley, and many others.


3R’s School Recycling Program empowers students to engage and educate their school community about the 3R’s—reduce, reuse, recycle.   

KHF currently supports 69 schools with their on-campus recycling, waste auditing, and composting solutions and is ramping up the 3R’s School Recycling Program island-wide with more recycling supplies and educational resources for schools. KHF continues to work closely with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education, which now provides campus-wide recycling pickup for 176 Oʻahu schools. Additionally, KHF hosted 18 Aloha ʻĀina Recycling Drives this year, where nearly 175,000 pounds of metals, electronics, beverage containers, paper, batteries, household items, and oil were collected and diverted from the waste stream. More than 350 student and teacher volunteers supported the drives, with proceeds from the sale of select recycled materials going directly to the host schools.


Plastic Free Hawai‘i seeks to minimize single-use plastics by educating and empowering schools, businesses & community members across Hawaiʻi.

24,000 pounds of marine debris were cleaned from beaches with the help of 1,500 volunteers. 21% of this debris was recycled with the Parley for the Oceans project to be recycled into Adidas store interior materials. We cleaned Kahuku and Kailua beaches for International Coastal Cleanup Day with 13,100 pounds of debris being removed from Kahuku alone in just 2 hours. Smaller cleanups with businesses and schools were also hosted with the help of PFH.

PFH educational presentations were made to 1,731 students on Oʻahu, reaching youth ranging from preschool to college age. PFH offered educational outreach and activities at 49 community events, reaching almost 15,000 people. Nearly 14,000 reusable items, such as metal straws and bamboo sporks, were given away to students and at events to empower people with tools to live plastic free!

PFH Water Refill Stations were utilized at 24 events, including Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Events and Green Fest. Our water refill stations reduced the use of nearly 100,000 single-use plastic water bottles. We work with 17 local businesses to retail our Plastic Free Hawaiʻi merchandise, helping to raise funds for the program while reaching a diverse audience of consumers.


Educational Events allow us to share a variety of environmental education initiatives with a broader community audience including parents, educators, and school administrators.

This year hundreds attended KHF-supported presentations, films, workshops, and discussions. Together with Honolulu Museum of Arts Doris Duke Theatre, we hosted the Hawaiʻi premiere of the film “Wasted: The Story of Food Waste” followed by a panel discussion. In a series of Simplify the Holidays Workshops with partners Bliss Healthy Foods and the Art Explorium, over 200 participants were empowered to create handmade gifts. At KHF Co-Founder Jack Johnson’s concerts in Honolulu, KHF and over 30 non-profits reached over 16,000 fans, sharing our work and developing new relationships. KHF staff also presented at several national and international conferences over the last year.