July’s Collection of School Supplies for the Children of Kalihi Waena
The children who attend Kalihi Waena are an ethnically diverse set of students. Here are the demographic statistics according to the DOE’s web site (http://arch.k12.hi.us/PDFs/ssir/2014/Honolulu/SSIR123-1.pdf):
9.2% Native Hawaiian
That totals nearly 96% of the school population, with a scattering of students representing other ethnic groups with low percentages rounding out the student body. None of the Kalihi Waena students are in the more established ethnic groups in Hawaiʿi such as Japanese and Caucasian. Slightly more than one quarter of the student body (25.6%) is made up of “students with limited English proficiency” which indicates they and their families are probably recent immigrants.
Far more critical than ethnicity is the statistic that 81.6% of students are eligible for “free or reduced-cost lunch.” For educators, that is the most significant statistic because it reveals their families are hard-pressed financially. Families that qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch are under such financial pressure they have trouble meeting the rent, electricity, and cost of food demands each month. In those households, the educational needs of children take a backseat to the daily necessities. That is why educators consider the eligibility for the free and reduced-cost lunch as an indicator that a child (or a whole school) is at risk educationally.
The parents of the students at Kalihi Waena do not have the financial capacity to provide their children with the school supplies on the list. That is why the Cathedral assists the school each year by providing the needed supplies so the students can start the new school year with the tools they need to succeed academically.
Please join the Outreach Committee in gathering enough school supplies during July to enable the Kalihi Waena students to succeed in school year 2015-2016.
– Ann D. Hansen, Retired Student Services Coordinator, Kalihi Waena School firstname.lastname@example.org