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).
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 (`ōlelo no`eau) and/or legends (mo`olelo) 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 Huaka`i:
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. Huaka`i are an integral part of the Keiki After-school Youth Development Program. HMK partners with the City & County of Honolulu Ocean Safety Division, East O`ahu 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 Ho`o`kua`āina, Ka Papa Lo`i o Kanewai, Paepae`o He`eia, Ulupo Hei`au and Papahana Kualoa serve as sites for HMK students to increase their understanding of `āina-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 `āina-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 `āina-based careers and majors and providing them with essential information about college.