Mr. Zuckerberg, please help with school funding

The following is an open letter to Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg:

I am in my 51st year in education and still hoping to continue to make a difference in education. As a University of Hawaii at Manoa professor who lives on Kauai, I founded with the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, an organization still existing today, Growing Our Own Teachers on Kauai, and I continue to teach for UHM online.

A governing board (along with Kauai leaders and the community) submitted an application to the Hawaii Charter School Commission for a Century 21 charter school, Alaka‘i O Kauai Public Charter School. The commission approved our school unanimously on Aug. 12, 2016, to open August 2017.

The keiki of Kauai need your help to bring 21st century education to our beautiful island. You understand the importance of education to prepare our children for the future. Our public charter school, Alaka‘i O Kauai Public Charter School, will establish the joy of learning through a project-based curriculum that emphasizes 21st century skills: critical thinking and problem solving, creativity, communication, collaboration and caring, as well as excellence in all core subject areas.

Our school is based upon the iLEAD model which you can learn about the iLEAD way at: Go to Why iLEAD? Meet the team that is building the dream. Scroll down and meet me: DrB Blackwell (my bio), as well as other members of the team that are transforming public education across the nation.

We started a gofundme account at: but have yet to raise the funding needed, $200,000, to open and operate the school. We will receive state funding August 2017 and will be able to supplement the school’s income by federal and state grants as well as applying to foundations.

The promise of this innovative school has garnered widespread support from our community. Kauai Superintendent Bill Arakaki is supportive of our new charter school, stating that it would bring a needed additional choice for families since all children do not learn identically. We have collected over 680 signatures of community members voicing a desire for the educational alternative that our school will provide. We would be so grateful if you would partner with us to help us realize this opportunity for Kauai.

Providing us with funds to build and open Alakai O Kauai Public Charter School would be giving back to our community in the most meaningful way — a free education for our Kauai keiki. Please consider the impact your support could have in transforming educational opportunities on Kauai for our keiki.

Mahalo and malama pono.


Kani “DrB” Blackwell is chair of governing board of Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Public Charter School. She can be reached at


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.