Place-Based Learning and Community Engagement in Schools (PLACES)

PLACES supports the planning and implementation of Place-based, Cultural Projects (PBCP) for the children in Wai'anae schools. These projects provide opportunities for children to engage with community and develop habits of social activism and environmental stewardship while they simultaneously develop the skills and strategies outlined in Hawaii's Content and Performance Standards and The Common Core Standards.


Hoa 'Aina O Makaha

Hoa'Aina works with children, families, and community to rediscover the Hawaiian culture, the love for the land, and the love for one another and for the world. The staff from Hoa 'Aina provides many opportunities for children to learn about caring for the 'aina from planning and developing gardens on the farm to studying the effectiveness of different farming systems, and learning how to prepare the nutritional food grown there.


Ka'ala Farm

Ka'ala Farm's mission is to reclaim and preserve the living culture of the Po'e Kahiko (people of old) in order to strengthen the kinship relationships between the 'āina (land, that which nourishes) and all forms of life necessary to sustain the balance of life on these vulnerable islands. Ka'ala provides many educational opportunities for children to become stewards of the 'aina and learn about and participate in different cultural traditions including planting, tending to, and harvesting kalo and learn the ancient art of kapa making at Ka'ala's Cultural Learning Center.


Center for Microbial Biology: Research and Education (C-MORE), UH Manoa

C-MORE is a NSF-sponsored Science and Technology Center designed to facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of the diverse assemblages of microorganisms in the sea. C-MORE's Education and Outreach program brings resources and expertise to K-12 schools including science curriculum and support from C-MORE faculty to explore diverse topics concerning water including life in the oceans and water quality.


Wai'anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC)

WCCHC is a healing center that provides accessible and affordable medical and traditional healing services, a learning center that offers health career training to ensure a better future for our community, and a center of innovation, using leading edge technology to deliver the highest quality of medical services to the community. Faculty from the WCCHC have supported many projects that promote health and well-being.


Malama Learning Center

Mālama Learning Center is a non-profit organization that brings art, science, conservation, and culture together to promote sustainable living throughout Hawai‘i. Our programs offer hands-on learning opportunities for youth and adults. Participants gain real-life experience with innovations that integrate culture and tradition with technology and science. By actively engaging area residents in nurturing each other and their environment, we strive to unify West O‘ahu around a shared ethic of caring and conservation.



Kealoha is the first Poet Laureate of Hawai'i and as an internationally acclaimed poet and storyteller, he has performed throughout the world — from the White House to the 'Iolani Palace, from Brazil to Switzerland. Kealoha works with children around different topics inspiring them to write and 'slam' their own poems.


Jonathan Sypert

Jonathan was voted 2009 Best Adult Hip Hop Teacher in Honolulu by the readers of Honolulu Magazine, is a professional performing artist as well as instructor at The Movement Center, and is the Founder and Head Facilitator of the community outreach program Forward Motion. Jonathon works with children on different projects, incorporating movement and hip hop as a method for learning and a way of representing their knowledge.


Solomon Enos

Solomon Robert Nui Enos is a native Hawaiian artist whose art can be found in many resorts around the area and in several books including Na Akua Hawai'i (The Gods and Goddesses of Hawai'i) and the centennial edition of The Epic Tales of Hi'iakaikapoliopele. Solomon works with teachers and children within projects, bringing art to different ways of thinking about diverse topics, using art to express cultural learning and social transformation. Several pieces he has co-created with children and families can be found along the coast, including a mural installation at Hoa 'Aina.


Philosophy for Children (p4c)

The mission of p4c in Hawaii is education for the purpose of creating intellectually responsible communities by incorporating the skills of logic and reasoning found in the practice of philosophy into school curriculum and work with children. P4c has worked with teachers to design experiences and curricula around different p4c principles and approaches.


Searider Productions

Searider Productions, a program based at Wai'anae High School, prepares students in three majors — Film/TV, Journalism and Digital Media — with the aim of providing students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in both global and local contexts. Searider students work with elementary students on many media-related topics including interviewing skills, using video equipment, and shooting and editing footage.


Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS)

The Polynesian Voyaging Society perpetuates the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, each other, and their natural and cultural environments. The PVS works with children, sharing the history of the Hōkūle'a, a traditional voyaging canoe, and knowledge of voyaging including the ancient knowledge of navigating with the stars.


Kahumana Farm

Kahumana Farm is a non-profit organization serving the Wai'anae coast community, providing social services in the Lualualei Valley for a number of different populations including families in transition as well as growing and providing organic produce for many of the health food stores and high-end restaurants on the island. Staff at Kahumana have supported a number of projects in which students learn about organic farming and growing and preparing healthy, nutritious foods.


MA'O Farms

The mission of MA'O Farms is social entrepreneurship, growing organic food, and young leaders for a sustainable Hawaii. Toward these ends MA'O addresses five critical areas of need: out-of-school youth, sustainable economic development, agriculture, health, and Hawaiian culture in order to build a localized movement to put the value of aloha 'aina into action. Staff at MA'O work with youth on different projects, teaching about sustainable agricultural systems and traditional cultural


Art to Go

The Honolulu Museum of Art's after-school outreach program Art to Go sends qualified artist instructors and supplies to sites, such as public elementary schools, throughout the islands in order to stimulate creativity, introduce artistic technique, bolster self-esteem and confidence, strengthen problem-solving skills and promote positive leisure activities in a safe environment for Hawai'i's youth and underserved communities. Art to Go has partnered with a teachers on many projects to support children's learning and expand their abilities to express themselves through the arts.


Board of Water Supply

Aligned with its mission statement, "Water for Life", the Board of Water Supply offers public education programs to help children and adults learn about the state's water resources. The Board of Water Supply has supported numerous projects, providing tours and informational programs to help students think about the water cycle and water conservation and preservation.


Vince Dodge

Vince Dodge is a cultural practitioner and member of Mohala i ka Wai, a Waianae environmental group dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the community's natural resources working closely with conservation efforts along the coast. Vince has worked with many projects to support the acquisition of cultural knowledge and nurture reverence and stewardship for the 'aina (land).


University of Hawai'i West Oahu

The University of Hawaii, West Oahu is located in Kapolei and is the only public four-year university located in the leeward O'ahu area. UH West O'ahu is committed to the continuing development of the region through both innovative educational offerings and public service activities. Various programs at UHWO work with and support PLACES teachers and children including the Office of Sustainability.


School & Community Partners


PALS has partnered with 8 elementary, middle, and high schools along the Wai'anae coast serving over 600 children over the last 7 years. PALS teachers are all licensed teachers who bring skill and passion to their work with children.


  • Kamaile Academy

  • Ka Waihona o Ka Na'auao

  • Nanaikapono Elementary

  • Mā‘ili Elementary

  • Makaha Elementary

  • Nānākuli Intermediate & High School

  • Wai'anae Elementary

  • Wai'anae High School


PALS has partnered with multiple community organizations and individuals within the local Wai'anae community and the larger community of Oahu in order to provide a rich and authentic grounding in place, culture, and history. Our community partners operate as co-planners and co-teachers providing access to an enormous breadth of resources, talents, skills and cultural knowledge.


University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Student Equity, Excellence & Diversity (SEED)

2600 Campus Rd., QLSSC 413

Honolulu, HI 96822

PALS (Place-based After-school Literacy Support)