Holding Hands

Tūtū and Me Home Visiting April 12, 2018

Tūtū and Me Home Visiting April 12, 2018

Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool (TTM) began offering Home Visiting services to families in April of 2015. Since that time, TTM’s Home Visiting Program has expanded to five districts, serving families in Kaʻū, Kohala, East Hawaiʻi, Hāmākua, and the island of Molokaʻi.

The program is a family-strengthening model that provides caregiver support and educational resources to families with keiki age’s birth to five. Home Visitors Linda Bong (Kaʻū), Lani Bowman (Kohala), Amanda Ishigo (East Hawaii), Ashlynn Victorino (Hāmākua), and Kahana DeKneef (Molokaʻi) meet with families once a week or twice per month for 12 to 15 sessions. Caregivers learn effective parenting techniques and teaching strategies that support keiki’s early learning and social-emotional development. Home Visitors bring in toys, educational resources, books, snacks and activities, and support caregivers in their role as keiki’s first and most important teachers. In addition to the Home Visiting sessions, families have an opportunity to borrow books through a Lending Library and socialize with other families at monthly Play Day in the Park events.

We are happy to share that Home Visiting began serving families in a unique community on Valentine’s Day this year. Known as Hawaiʻi’s “last fishing village,” Miloliʻi is five miles downhill from Māmalahoa Highway in South Kona and at the end of a narrow, winding road. With no electricity or running water, Miloliʻi is a community where traditional fishing methods are still practiced. Thanks to the dedication of skilled residents and cultural practitioners, cultural values, and rich generational knowledge are being preserved and passed on.

Home Visitor Linda Bong, met with Miloliʻi resident and community advocate, Kaimi Kaupiko, President of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School’s Board of Directors and kumu for their Hīpuʻu Program, an online program for youth which combines community based projects with cultural education. As Miloliʻi keiki often bus up to fourty miles to attend school, Kaimi is a strong advocate for education in his community and helped arrange a meeting with families to introduce them to the Home Visiting Program. Eight caregivers and twelve keiki are now enrolled in Home Visiting; and it is a joy and a privilege for us to share our program with this wonderful and unique community. For more information, please contact JoAnn Wasson at: (808) 524-7633 or email jwasson@pidfoundation.org