The Keiki After-school Youth Development Program (5th & 6th grades) and the ‘Ōpio Afterschool Leadership Program (7th-12th grades) provide over twenty-five hours per week of intensive programming at no cost to participating families. HMK works directly with community DOE schools to identify and support the most vulnerable students who are in the most need of support services. The academic program runs from September to June (10 months) from 2:15-6:00 pm (summer session is also offered). During the 2020-2021 program year, after-school participants were engaged in over 500 hours of youth enrichment programming consisting of an hour of homework help, two healthy snacks which includes a fresh fruit and/or vegetable, cultural protocols, and the E Kūkulu I Nā Alakaʻi Hawaiʻi, Building Hawaiian Leaders program curriculum which provides culturally grounded kai- and ʻāina-based activities.
Family-strengthening has been recognized as a key factor in positive youth development. The ʻOhana Family Strengthening/Community Building program, therefore, complements the Keiki and ‘Ōpio programs. HMK organizes monthly workshops to cultivate familial and communal relationships through culture-based activities that focus on education, identity, and traditional practices. The intention is to further serve the Waimānalo youth with extended services to their families and the larger community. This approach strengthens family bonding, nurtures vital relationships, and supports meaningful connections that build community capacity.
Typical Program Day
The after-school program day begins with a light but healthy snack and is followed by a full hour of academic, school-based tutoring assistance. All HMK programs begin and end with Native Hawaiian cultural protocol. The lead teachers then introduce a weekly Native Hawaiian value and talk to the youth about how it relates to the activities they will be engaging in that day and how it connects to their lives and cultural history. Traditional Hawaiian proverbs (ʻōlelo noʻeau) and/or legends (moʻolelo) are included in the daily lessons. Youth sing a Hawaiian song (mele) or perform a Hawaiian chant (oli) before taking part in the curriculum-specific activity of the day. At the end of the day, there is a closing circle where Native Hawaiian values are again discussed. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, HMK pivoted programs to distance and virtual learning, but has since returned to in-person learning and care.
Partnerships and Huakaʻi
As a community-based organization that has been running many of its core programs since 1998, HMK has developed strong partnerships. HMK partners with Waimānalo Elementary & Intermediate School, Blanche Pope Elementary, and Mālama Honua Public Charter schools to recruit participants into HMK programs and follow-up to ensure their academic development and success. Huakaʻi are an integral part of the Keiki After-school Youth Development Program. HMK partners with the City & County of Honolulu Ocean Safety Division, East Oʻahu Lifeguard Association and the Waimanalo Canoe Club for excursions to the ocean for ocean safety education, physical activity, and cultural practices (such as surfing with alaia boards). Other partners such as Hoʻoʻkuaʻāina, Ka Papa Loʻi o Kānewai, Paepae ʻo Heʻeia, Ulupō Heiau and Papahana Kuaola serve as sites for HMK students to increase their understanding of ʻāina-based STEM careers with a focus on economic sustainability, resource management and environmental restoration from a Native Hawaiian perspective.
HMK’s overarching goal is to strengthen the Waimānalo community, particularly the economically and socially disadvantaged Native Hawaiian population, by reaching youth at an early age and ensuring that they succeed academically, develop healthy habits, and are college and/or career ready. We focus on four goals, which are further sub-divided into detailed objectives:
Goal 1: Improve the health and wellness of participating youth through the promotion of kai- and ʻāina-based physical fitness activities, as well as healthy nutritional practices.
Goal 2: Strengthen positive personal development and knowledge of Native Hawaiian culture, language, and practices in participating youth.
Goal 3: Strengthen the academic development and achievement of participating youth by providing high-quality academic support activities.
Goal 4: Support the college/career readiness of participating youth by providing exposure to ʻāina-based careers and majors and providing them with essential information about college.
Learning Outcomes & Evaluation
Each of HMK’s objectives has outcomes and measurement tools associated with it. The evaluation process is conducted by a professional external evaluator. Outcomes and tools:
Outcome 1: Each year, at least 70% of active participants will engage in physical activity for at least 2 hours/week, improve their ocean safety and swimming skills, and increase their awareness and adoption of healthy eating habits, as evidenced by attendance and participation records, the Ocean Safety and Recreation Skills Assessment and the ʻŌpio and ʻOhana surveys.
Outcome 2: Each year, at least 70% of active participants will demonstrate pro-social behaviors and knowledge of Native Hawaiian cultural values, language and practices, as assessed by the ʻŌpio survey, ʻOhana survey, staff survey, and focus groups/interviews (youth, family, staff).
Outcome 3: Each year, at least 70% of active participants will regularly attend school and demonstrate positive academic behaviors, as evidenced by the teacher survey and their school report cards.
Outcome 4: Each year, at least 70% of ʻŌpio participants will increase their knowledge of ʻāina-based careers and their college and career readiness skills, as evidenced by the ʻŌpio Survey and ʻŌpio focus groups, school report cards, teacher survey and High School Equivalency Program/College transcripts.
To achieve the outcomes of improved health, personal growth, academic achievement and college/career readiness through HMK's comprehensive, culturally grounded system of programs, the following timelines will be adhered to during the grant period:
1) HMK Programmatic Timeline (Oct. 2022-Sept. 2023):
OCTOBER – Start of: Daily After-school Programming, Monthly ‘Ohana Activities & On-going Family Strengthening Workshop Series
NOVEMEBER to MAY – After-school Programming, ‘Ohana Activities & Family Strengthening Workshops Continue
JUNE - After-school Programming, ‘Ohana Activities and Workshops End; Close-out of Program Year (Program Evaluation, Supplies/Equipment Inventory, Performance Evaluations, Policy Review, etc.); Summer Program
JULY – Preparation/Planning for Upcoming Program Year; Maintenance/Repairs on Equipment and Site; Supplies Acquisition; Paid Time Off and/or Summer Non-work Period; Summer Program
AUGUST - Staff/intern Orientation/training; Participant Recruitment; Individual Meetings with Families
SEPTEMBER - Family Meetings Continue; Orientation Dinner and Camp; Continued Staff/Intern Training; Collaboration Meetings w/ DOE Teachers
2) HMK Evaluation Timeline & Tools Administered to Program Participants:
- HMK Values Rubric - Pre/Post in Oct/May; Addresses HMK Goal 1, Obj 1.b; triangulates culturally competent findings.
- Developmental Assets Profile - Pre/Post in Oct/May; Addresses HMK Goal 1, Obj 1.a; dev. by TSI; reliable and validated.
- Modified Hawaiian Cultural Connectedness Survey - Pre/Post in Oct/May; HMK Goal 1, Obj 1.b; dev. by KS; reliable and validated.
- HMK Parent Survey - Retrospective Pre/Post in May; Addresses HMK Goals 1-4, Obj 1.a, 1.b, 2.b, 3.a, 3.b, 4.a; clarifies & triangulates findings.
- HMK Parent Interview - Retrospective Pre/Post in May; Addresses HMK Goals 1-4, Obj 1.a, 1.b, 2.b, 3.a, 3.b, 4.a; clarifies & triangulates findings.
- HMK Attendance/Participation Records - On-going/Daily; Addresses HMK Goals 1-4, All Objs; validates activity participation.
- HMK Swim/Water Safety Assessment – Pre/Post in Oct/May; Addresses HMK Goal 2, Obj 2.a; tracks water confidence & physical fitness.
- HMK Healthy Habits Questionnaire – Pre/Post in Oct/May; Addresses HMK Goal 2, Obj 2.b; tracks healthy habits.
- DOE Report Cards - Analyzed at 3rd Quarter; Addresses HMK Goal 3, Obj 3.a, 3.b; tracks student educational progress.
- HMK DOE Teacher Survey - Retrospective Pre/Post in April; Addresses HMK Goal 3, Obj 3.a, 3.b; clarifies & triangulates findings.