Kellogg Foundation Awards Grant to "Groundbreaking" Program

$500,000 planning grant awarded to Hawaii's P-20 initiative

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Jul 23, 2003

HONOLULU —Validating a major Hawai'i public education initiative to raise student achievement, one of the nation‘s premier philanthropic organizations, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, has awarded a $500,000 planning grant to the University of Hawai'i Foundation (UHF) to support the joint "P-20 initiative" of the Good Beginnings Alliance, the Department of Education (DOE) and the University of Hawai'i (UH).

The goal of the year-long planning grant, awarded in mid-July by the Kellogg Foundation Board of Trustees, is to lay the groundwork to secure additional public and private resources for the P-20 initiative. The Kellogg Foundation grant validates the initiative‘s innovative approach to improving the education of Hawai'i‘s youth across three different systems of education, according to university and partnership officials.

"Pat Hamamoto of the DOE and Liz Chun of Good Beginnings have been superb to work with and together we are creating a new way of approaching education in Hawai'i," UH President Evan S. Dobelle said. "This grant is particularly gratifying because it recognizes the importance of innovation and collaboration in changing Hawai'i‘s educational landscape. When we stop looking to place blame and start communicating about the future of our children, the magnitude of our mission is clear, and together, we can achieve it."

The P-20 initiative, originally envisioned by Dobelle, brings all the education stakeholders together to improve student achievement at every level. The grant will be used to build on the strength of existing projects directed at developing seamless and effective education for the people of Hawai'i from pre-school through the full range of post secondary education. The grant will permit planners to work on the extension of existing programs as well as generate plans to bring model programs up to scale. In addition, it will help to initiate other model programs designed to eliminate the barriers to cooperation between the three segments of education.

"Right now there are many gaps in the three major educational systems," said Gail McClure, Kellogg Foundation vice president for programs. "We believe this partnership — involving the systems fully engaged with the communities they serve — can work together so that no child falls through the gaps. The result can be greater achievement for all youth, especially those that are most vulnerable to failure."

"The Kellogg Foundation is supporting this partnership because it represents groundbreaking collaboration and a ʻcutting edge‘ approach," said Valorie Johnson, Kellogg Foundation program director. "Because Hawai'i is a critical gateway to the Pacific and to Asia for the future, we hope the partnership can leverage both public and private funds to realize this substantial opportunity for greater learning and developing international models of education."

The grant will be administered through the P-20 Council, which consists of members from business, government, and all three levels of education, both public and private.

"The impact of this initial grant will be substantial in terms of developing the necessary infrastructure, energizing the project and securing future support. I applaud the university‘s efforts to move quickly on this very important initiative and help us secure much needed funding and other resources," said DOE Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto.

"The Hawaii P-20 initiative gives the early childhood community a new voice and the responsibility to help create a seamless education system that benefits all children. The funding from the Kellogg Foundation will allow P-20 to begin the implementation of our vision for a continuum of learning experiences that support children as they progress from one educational setting to the next," said Good Beginnings Alliance Executive Director Liz Chun.

"The University of Hawai'i Foundation Board of Trustees is extremely pleased to be able to support the initiatives of President Dobelle, Superintendent Hamamoto and Director Chun," said UHF President Betsy Sloane.

Dobelle, Hamamoto and Chun met in April 2002 to discuss ways to increase dialogue across Hawaiʻi‘s three education systems and form collaborative relationships to meet the challenges of a complex, technological and global society. All agreed that "Paramount issues confront education in Hawai'i and it is critical to instill in our students the belief that learning is a lifelong process — education does not end with a degree. The P-20 initiative is the first step in changing how people regard education."

UH, DOE and the Good Beginnings Alliance officially formed a partnership in October 2002 to put forth their vision for improving student achievement at all levels of education in the state. Their goal was to provide a seamless education system designed to make life-long learning available to all students - whether they be a youngster entering preschool, a high school senior researching colleges or a retired military veteran interested in increasing his or her computer skills.Background on the W. K. Kellogg FoundationThe W. K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 "to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations." Its programming activities center around the common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be proactive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions and healthy communities.

To achieve the greatest impact, the Foundation targets its grants toward specific areas. These include: health; food systems and rural development; youth and education; and philanthropy and volunteerism. Within these areas, attention is given to the cross-cutting themes of leadership; information and communication technology; capitalizing on diversity; and social and economic community development. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.