PBS Hawaii’s student news program HIKI NO has received a $2.1 million grant to develop its curriculum and establish elective courses that will be held in the state’s middle and high schools. The three-year grant was made possible by the Stupski Family Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation.
The grant for HIKI NO—which is PBS Hawaii’s student news program and statewide digital media learning initiative—is intended to be a game changer for the program. The funds will lead to the development of a standards-aligned curriculum class that will offered as an elective at public, private and charter schools.
“We’re thrilled that this significant gift will enable many more students to learn 21st-century skills in real-world conditions,” said Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawaii President and CEO. Joyce Stupski, head of the Stupski Family Fund and a former special education teacher, said she strongly believes in HIKI NO’s potential to help close the achievement gap in schools and equip students for the future workforce.
Since HIKI NO launched in 2011, most of its participating students have been working on video stories about their communities as an extracurricular activity. HIKI NO teachers have been using vacation and weekend time to receive training in the New Literacy of digital media. The new grant will allow the classes to soon be a part of Hawaii schools’ regular curriculum.
“HIKI NO belongs in the schools, not outside the school day,” said Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of the Hawaii Community Foundation. “We’re honored to partner with passionate donors like Joyce, who have the desire to create a greater impact in our education system.”
The three-year multi-million dollar grant will fund curriculum development to embed the public broadcaster’s learning initiative in Hawaii’s middle and high schools.
Hawaii State Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi welcomes the development of HIKI NO curriculum. “Our participating public schools have already seen very encouraging learning outcomes from this groundbreaking digital media initiative,” Matayoshi said. The curriculum also will be available to independent and public charter schools.
HIKI NO, which airs on PBS Hawaii at 7:30pm Thursdays, is Hawaii’s first statewide student news network, made up of 86 public, private and charter schools from across the islands. Through the production of video news stories about their schools and communities, students gain valuable workforce and life skills, while teachers engage their students in hands-on, collaborative learning.
To view past episodes or learn more about HIKI NO, visit PBSHawaii.org/hikino.
Both the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Stupski Family Fund of Hawaii Community Foundation were early HIKI NO supporters. With 98 years of community service, the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) is the leading philanthropic institution in the state. HCF is a steward of more than 650 funds, including more than 190 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities. In 2013, $43 million in grants and contracts were distributed statewide, including $4 million in scholarships. HCF also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector.
Photo courtesy PBS Hawaii