LIHUE — The Kamehameha Schools Kauai and Niihau Region continues to broaden its efforts in the community via its new Community Hale in Lihue.
Located at 3201 Akahi Street, next to Tip Top Restaurant, the hale includes offices for KS’ four-person regional team, two ohana engagement team members and three counselors. By consolidating two former KS offices, the new location serves the Kauai and Niihau communities.
“Our Kamehameha Schools Community Hale here on Kauai is important for so many reasons,” said Buffy Ofisa, KS regional director for Kauai and Niihau. “Besides it being a facility and foundation with some roots planted here that say ‘Kauai, we’re not going anywhere,’ I also see it as a gathering place for our community. It’s not just offices, it’s not just a place where you come and fill out forms and turn them in, but I’d like it to be busy all the time with activities involving the community and our collaborators.”
Ron Cox, director of Kamehameha Publishing, took part in a blessing celebration for the Community Hale and announced the donation of more than 600 books for Kekaha Elementary School.
In partnership with the Keiki to Career Kauai Collective Impact team, the book donation aligns with the group’s efforts to increase literacy at the school and in the community.
Prior to the recent blessing, keiki and their families from across the island engaged in learning activities thanks in part to support from community collaborator Hui Ho‘omalu Partners in Development Foundation.
The young children, some of whom are in foster care or have recently been placed with adoptive parents, mixed and played with slime and playdough, made flower lei, planted native trees and plants around the Community Hale and enjoyed movies and refreshments.
“I’m so happy to have this community hale here as a place where we can share resources and information,” said Hui Ho‘omalu Community Liason Monica Ka‘auwai. “We partner with Kamehameha Schools to get the word out about services for children and families across the island, and we work so well together that I’m looking forward to continuing this collaboration.”
Added administrator for Child Welfare Services on Kaua‘i Iwalani Ka‘auwai-Herrod: “We’re very happy to partner with Kamehameha Schools because we have many children who are of Native Hawaiian descent in our foster care system. We’d really love for these children to have the opportunities that Kamehameha Schools can provide for all of our keiki. The center will be a great asset for our community.”