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Piha Me Ka Pono is an extension of the former Kohala School Complex education project, Pili A Paʻa, to address deficits in reading, math, and science. Piha Me Ka Pono implements the Community School strategy to help students to succeed by addressing the social-emotional and health needs of the family and community at large.

The Community School Model collaborates with the Kohala School Complex and recognizes that so many of the students are coming to school with excess “baggage,” e.g. hunger, trauma from homelessness or divorce. Unless that “baggage” is addressed, no matter how strong the instruction is, the students will have difficulty learning. The Community School model uses a holistic approach on how to care for the students and addresses that baggage by bringing in resources and support not just for the school complex but for the whole community. This will strengthen the community’s physical, mental and emotional health so they are better able to adjust to the hardships they are facing.

A PIDF survey revealed that a number of students experienced bullying, suicidal thoughts, depression, and more. Research finds that students with poor mental and physical health have a higher probability of school failure, grade retention, and dropout. Kohala is a rural community with few extracurricular activities for students to engage in. 

Schools alone cannot solely impact student achievement. In order to fully prepare students for future roles, strong relationships must be built and sustained within the community. That’s why Piha Me Ka Pono works collaboratively with the schools to implement the four pillars of Community Schools as an overarching strategy to remove the barriers of learning through a strong community-based approach.

Program Components
Program Components The Four Pillars
The Four Pillars

The community school model uses the four pillars, a strength-based approach between home and school, to recognize that school improvement is a partnership based on relationships of mutual trust.

Intended for students focusing on enrichment and intervention.

A committed network of community partnerships available to support parents and students.

Securing parents as true partners through a coordinated system of meaningful services to better support their child’s success and for them to pursue self-improvement opportunities. 

Practices to build a culture of professional learning, collective trust, and shared responsibility.

Recent News

Recent News

Two Mentorship Programs Receive Fundamental Support to Empower Vulnerable Native Hawaiian Youth Populations

June 6, 2023

Over $120,000 will enable the youth of the Honokaʻa and greater Windward Oʻahu region to benefit from services such as career pathway development and mental health.

Four PIDF programs celebrate Lā ʻOhana in Waimea

June 13, 2022

Tūtū and Me keiki from Hawaiʻi Island’s Waimea and Honokaʻa sites celebrated their end of the year accomplishments with an in-person Lā ʻOhana (family day)! Four PIDF programs participated in the fun: Pili a Paʻa, Project Pilina, Tūtū and Me ʻOhana Support, and Hoʻopalekana Ola.

Community School Manager seeks to spread kindness and hope

May 28, 2022

Pili A Paʻa Community School Manager at the Kohala Complex shares encouraging and positive messages while directing school traffic.

Resilience Hub receives $10,000 from Hawaiian Electric

May 21, 2021

PIDF received a $10,000 grant from Hawaiian Electric to continue the Resilience Hub in Kohala, a project under the Pili a Pa‘a program that provides a safe space for keiki who are doing distance learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic and whose caregivers are unable to supervise them.