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2018-19 Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation Year End Report

July 02, 2019

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 2018-2019 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. 101educators from 51 schools and educational organizations across Oʻahu were trained this semester to implement the ʻĀINA garden, composting, and nutrition curricula with hundreds of students across the state. 121 nutrition docents led 944 nutrition lessons, reaching 2,532 students, while 16 teachers and 265 garden and compost docents delivered 980 garden and compost lessons to 5,427 students this school year. These docents generously shared their time attending trainings and caring for the school gardens. 160 students participated in 15 weekly garden clubs at ʻĀINA Schools.

15 partner chefs provided 76 classroom ʻĀINA Chef Visits at 12 schools this school year with 1,577 students making healthy, kid-friendly recipes with local- and school garden-sourced ingredients. Four local farmers provided 21 classroom visits to 534 students at 6 schools. 438 students from 8 ʻĀINA schools engaged in kuʻi ʻai demonstrations. ‘ĀINA Schools provided 37 ‘ĀINA-themed educational outreach events including healthy snacks, wellness nights, farmers’ markets, CSAs, and other ʻĀINA-themed fundraising. 985 family, school staff, and community members volunteered at 27 garden parties. 58 teachers, ʻĀINA docents, and parents attended our Farm to School Field Trip for Educators, visiting Waikīkī School & Food Farm, Leilehua High School’s Ag. Program, Sweet Land Farms, Kainalu Elementary, and Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi. 

ʻĀINA In Schools partnered with Hawaiʻi State Department of Education, Kamehameha ʻEwa Region, Food Corps Hawaiʻi, and Sustʻāinable Molokaʻi to provide hands-on professional development via ʻĀINA Curriculum Trainings to 101 educators from 51 schools across Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island, and Molokaʻi 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.

13,561 students from 80 schools participated in environmental projects supported by KHF Mini-Grants. Projects focused on school gardens, farming for local families and communities, hydroponics and aquaponics, vermicomposting, plastic-free campuses, nutrition, waste reduction, and STEM projects focusing on sustainability and ocean health.

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 school year Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation granted field trip support to 8,192 students from 90 schools. As part of Farm to School Month, 2,064 students from 14 schools visited local farms including Kahuku Farms, Kahumana Organic Farm, MAʻO Organic Farms, Mari’s Gardens, Nā Mea Kūpono, Sweet Land Farm, Waiāhole Nursery & Garden Center, and Waihuena Farm.


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

KHF currently supports 84 schools with their on-campus recycling, waste auditing, and composting solutions. We ramped up the 3R’s School Recycling Program island-wide with more recycling supplies and educational resources for schools than ever before. KHF continues to work closely with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education. Additionally, KHF hosted 18 Aloha ʻĀina Recycling Drives this year where over 180,000 pounds (90 tons!) of metals, electronics, beverage containers, paper, batteries, household items, and oil were collected and diverted from the waste stream. More than 370 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.

With the help of 960 volunteers, over 11,400 pounds of marine debris was removed during PFH beach cleanups. Over 1,500 pounds of this debris was recycled with the Parley for the Oceans project.

This year, PFH educational presentations were made to 2,700 students and community members on Oʻahu. This included assemblies and field trips with North Shore students as part of the #PlasticFreeWave “artivism” project with Ethan Estess, World Surf League, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi and other partners. We also hosted our first-ever Plastic Free Hawaiʻi Youth Summit, with over 100 youth participating in the 2-day event. Dr. Pete Myers spoke on the health impacts of plastics at two PFH events. PFH also offered educational outreach throughout the year reaching over 100,00 people. 

PFH Water Refill Stations were offered at 39 events. In total, our water refill stations reduced the use of 218,904 single-use plastic water bottles. At the Jack Johnson and Eagles concert at Aloha Stadium, KHF supported the launch of r.Cup in Hawaiʻi, preventing 20,000 single-use plastic cups from entering the wastestream at that event alone.

We work with 19 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, workshops and sponsored or presented at the Hawaiʻi Environmental Education Symposium, Schools of the Future Conference and We Grow Hawaiʻi. KHF also helped green the National Sustainable Agriculture Education Conference, assisting with composting food waste and using reusable service ware. 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 for a greener holiday season. Additionally, KHF reaches over 20,000 supporters through our newsletters and 51,000 more on Facebook, Instagram (@kokuahawaiifoundation) and Twitter (@kokua).