Building on past successes, CRDG continued its work providing support to Native Hawaiian students with the Kāko‘o Ikaika, Heluhelu Maoli, and Piha Pono projects, all formal partnerships between CRDG and the Hawai‘i Department of Education. Since the early 90s, when CRDG became involved with the Pihana Nā Mamo program under the direction of Principal Investigator Morris Lai and Project Director Hugh Dunn, the range and type of supports have continued to expand and evolve.

The three-year Kāko‘o Ikaika project is in three O‘ahu middle school/high school pairs providing supports for students through the transitions from middle school to high school and from high school into higher education or the workforce. The project, which uses a Response to Intervention (RTI) model that provides a multi-tiered system for literacy and behavior supports, is directly serving 1,700 Hawaiian students, 300 parents, and 500 school staff.

The Heluhelu Maoli: Building a Strong Foundation in Reading and Mathematics for K–3 Hawaiian Children project provides early and strategic supports that build important foundational reading and mathematics concepts and knowledge in K–3 students. The project is focused on four activities: (1) continuing to develop high-quality implementation of a school-wide reading program, (2) increasing focus and resources for students who are in need of targeted reading interventions, (3) developing high-quality mathematics instruction and putting supports in place for struggling first graders, and (4) maintaining an extensive database on K–3 reading and mathematics performance of Hawaiian children. The project directly serves over 2,800 Hawaiian students, 300 teachers and school staff, and 1,000 parents.

Piha Pono, based on these and other previous Pihana projects, is a scaling-up project that leverages former successes to focus on and expand successful practices. Piha Pono uses a Response to Intervention (RTI) approach that fully integrates reading, mathematics, and behavior supports and is being implemented in 10 schools with relatively high proportions of Native Hawaiian students and notably high levels of poverty. The project goals and activities are to (1) continue refinement of RTI K–3 reading, (2) develop a RTI K–3 mathematics program, and (3) develop and refine a School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS) system.

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