Pacific Literacy Consortium (PLC)


The Pacific Literacy Consortium (PLC) exists to build and align a network of strategic partnerships that fosters the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative and evidence-based educational approaches designed to improve reading outcomes and life chances of children in Hawaiʻi and throughout the Pacific.


PLC was engendered by a longstanding, successful partnership between the Literacy and Hawaiian Education Section (LHE), Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the Hawaiian Education Program Office, Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support (OCISS), Hawaiʻi Department of Education. This partnership, sustained by multiple grants across 15 years, is commonly referred as Pihana Nā Mamo, which was the name of LHE’s original grant. Since 2000, the efforts of this partnership were sustained and scaled by eight subsequent federal grants that resulted in systematic, coordinated services to teachers and students across 51 public schools in Hawaiʻi. More program information (videos, resources, updates) can be found at the PLC website,

Focus Areas

The work has involved strong interagency collaboration among teams of researchers, school leaders, content experts, cultural practitioners, instructional designers, and evaluators. PLC continues to engage new partnerships for the purpose of expanding its work in Hawaiʻi and the broader Pacific community. PLC has successfully provided services around four inter­connected components: schoolwide reading support; student transition support toward college and career readiness; curriculum enhancement; and schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports; and through four cross­cutting processes: formative assessment; evaluation; job- embedded coaching; and professional development.

Reading Supports (Heluhelu)

The Heluhelu component is based on a prevention model designed to address student risks as early as possible. It is based on substantial research that shows (1) reading failure can be prevented with early and appropriate instruction and (2) effective data­driven instructional decision making for improving student achievement is enhanced through a schoolwide multi­tiered infrastructure.

Transition and Mentoring Supports (Kāko‘o)

Kāko‘o is designed to support the transition of at­risk students by providing mentoring and other critical transition supports as they move from middle school to high school and from high school to post­secondary options.

Curriculum Enhancement

PLC produces supplemental culturally-appropriate curricula (e.g., Ka Wana Series, No Nā Mamo, Ka Manaʻo Pono Hawaiʻi No Nā Kumu Kula Aupini) designed to assist local schools and families to support the diverse learning needs of all children. Adding to the program’s repertoire of curriculum and materials, of which over 58,000 copies were disseminated throughout the state of Hawai‘i, in 2013, PLC released the College of Education’s first mobile tablet application, Pihana ABCs, which is an alphabet primer and coloring book available on iTunes,, and Google Play, PLC has since developed and launched additional mobile educational apps, including the Supporting Your Beginning Reader Handbook, which features video demonstration clips on teaching beginning reading, and Pihana Letter Combinations, which builds on phonological skills focused on associations between commonly encountered blends, digraphs, and dipthongs.

Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Supports (Hi‘ilani)

PLC’s Pihana Nā Mamo projects have been instrumental in statewide adoption of an evidence­ based School­wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) approach, integral to an effective Response to Intervention (RTI) model. RTI is a comprehensive early- detection and prevention system that identifies struggling students and assists them before they fall behind. Like other Pihana Nā Mamo components, its successful implementation and positive impact served as proof of concept for statewide adoption.

For More Information

Hugh H. Dunn, PhD
Pihana Hou, Principal Investigator
Pacific Literacy Consortium, Program Director
Twitter: @CRDG_PLC