Federal education grant workshops coming

Workshops are planned on Kaua‘i for those interested in applying for federal funds for education of Native Hawaiians, according to press releases from officials with the Native Hawaiian Education Council and U.S. Rep. Ed Case, D-Neighbor Islands-rural O‘ahu.

Some $9.5 million is available under the Native Hawaiian Education Act, for projects that increase the education of Native Hawaiian students.

The Kaua‘i workshops are Feb. 16, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the West Kauai Technology & Visitors Center on Kaumuali‘i Highway in Waimea, and from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center on Kali Road near The Garden Island newspaper building in Lihu‘e.

Both Case and officials with the Native Hawaiian Education Council encouraged representatives of educational groups to apply for the grants, for fiscal year 2006 (beginning Oct. 1).

“Competitive preferences will be awarded for grant applications addressing beginning reading literacy of Native Hawaiian students in kindergarten through third grade, the needs of at-risk Native Hawaiian children and youth, the needs of Native Hawaiians in fields or disciplines in which they are underemployed, and the use of Hawaiian language in instruction,” said Colin Kippen, executive director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council.

Council members make up the agency responsible for assessing, evaluating and coordinating activities under the act.

The awards are expected to be from $375,000 to $1,100,000 in size, approximately 20 in number, and cover a period of up to 36 months. The application deadline is March 24.

For more information about the federal Native Hawaiian Education Program, including the fiscal 2006 awards process, contact Beth Fine, 1-202-260-1091 or beth.fine@ed.gov, or Francisco Ramirez, 1-202-260-2541 or francisco.ramirez@ed.gov. Both are with the U.S. Department of Education, and both will be here for the Kaua‘i meetings.

Further information and application materials are available at http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/announcements/2006-1/012306c.html.

The application may be viewed and downloaded through grants.gov, or on the Native Hawaiian Education Program Web site, http://www.ed.gov/programs/nathawaiian/applicant.html.

For local information, contact Heather Kina, 1-808-845-9883, or e-mail her at nhec@hawaii.rr.com.

“The U.S. Department of Education is accepting grant applications through the Native Hawaiian Education Program, established by Senator Daniel Inouye, today through March 24, 2006, and I’m urging organizations involved in the education of Native Hawaiians to consider this opportunity,” said Case.

“I commend the department for increasing its outreach efforts by working closely with the Native Hawaiian Education Council and the Native Hawaiian community,” Case continued.

“I am also confident that USDOE will build upon its success of last year by reaching out to more Native Hawaiian communities in the near future, and I am particularly pleased that it has allowed more time for applicants to prepare for this year’s awards process,” said Case.

“In past years, not enough organizations in areas of my district with large numbers of Native Hawaiians, particularly on the Wai‘anae Coast and Moloka‘i, had been aware of these grants. Last year, I worked with the U.S. Department of Education and the Native Hawaiian Education Council in conducting targeted outreach efforts by sponsoring workshops that helped Native Hawaiian groups apply for these grants,” Case said.

“In total, $14.5 million was subsequently awarded to 29 various organizations and programs last year, including schools and groups that received federal funds from this program for the first time in my 2nd Congressional District.”

Information is also available on Case’s Web site at www.house.gov/case, by clicking on “Native Hawaiian Education Program grant announcement” at the top of the home page, he said.

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