What Is The Palolo Pipeline?
Kapiʻolani Community College, Chaminade University, and University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa continue our cooperation in service learning, now in the 9th year. A high priority is to serve the Palolo community – especially in the area of education. Palolo is right in our midst and yet so far away from institutions of higher education. Our goal is to build on long-existing projects, programs, and partnerships to help create and maintain a PIPELINE OF EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT that will provide lifelong learning and help students through the educational system from pre-pre-school to institutions of higher education. With the current P-3 focus, we specifically aim at improving early childhood education.
We work towards this goal in a broad, loosely structured partnership with numerous agencies, groups, and individuals, particularly the local families. Key partners are schools, after- including pre-school programs: the Palolo Elementary School, Jarrett Middle School, Kaimuki High School, Head Start (in corporation with the Honolulu Community Action Program), MAAC (run by the Mutual Assistance Association) and the Hale/Bridging the Digital Divide/the Kids' Club (run by the Palolo Housing Tenants Association).
Service-learning students are involved in tutoring at the schools and after-school programs, including the two programs outside of the schools: MAAC and the Hale. Some college students run or help out with reading circles, art programs, and Project Citizen at Jarrett and Kaimuki. Additionally, we work at the Palolo Chinese Home for Elderly, and participate in environmental projects (including those of the Palolo Tenants Association, the Ahupua‘a Action Alliance, the Ala Wai Watershed Association, the City & County of Honolulu, and many others, primarily through our service-learning pathway, Adopt an Ahupua‘a.
Through Project Citizen, we work on public policy skills building at Kaimuki High School. We also work with the Micronesians United (a lobbying and research group) and the Micronesian Community Network, with the Palolo Pride Committee, and with the ‘Olelo community television studio located at Jarrett Middle School.
Furthermore, students at many levels are collecting oral history, and doing community research on attitudes to education. Some are GIS mapping of the social and economic conditions of the people of Palolo. A group of graduate students from UHM's Public Administration made empowering the Micronesian immigrant group their capstone project. A video documentation and assessment project by Professor Modavi of KCC is supporting the Palolo Pipeline Project, and so is learning outcome assessment analyses by Professor Tania Renner, also KCC.
Since mid-2004, we have worked on developing a solid pre-school opportunity for kids in Palolo through two channels: the already established Head Start program (working closely with HCAP) and a pilot preschool/daycare project in cooperation with the Palolo Tenants Association. We aim as a short-term goal at helping parents in the housing area that want to take ESL classes, pursue a high-school diploma through the locally offered C-BASE program, or otherwise improve their education and job-opportunities. We are currently offering our first college-level course taught in the valley.
From 2005, we entered into a more structured phase, although flexibility and readiness to act on immediate community needs are musts in community relations. We increased our efforts in health education and support, as well as began working on "financial literacy projects." The P-20 initiative and the UH Foundation worked with us on a successful grant proposal to the Kellogg Foundation, which strengthens our special effort in the area of P-3 (Capturing the Momentum) and stresses the program's value as a model for work in similar low-income areas state and nation wide.