Fall 2020 Newsletter
Ua ka ua, kahe ka wai –The rain rains, the water flows. 
As we transition from kauwela to hoʻoilo, from the long days of summer to our season of increased rains (and night skies!), we send our love and aloha flowing to each of you with the water that flows in and around our Hawaiʻi. What an incredible journey we have been on together during the past 6 months; thank you all for the richness and life you bring to our work!
During this time of so many shifts in the world, we experienced productive shifts of our own close to home. Hye Jung moved from Pālolo to Kailua, Miki moved from Papakōlea to Pālolo, and Education Incubator moved our offices from Downtown to Pālolo. We are excited for our new beginnings, and really looking forward to growing into these new spaces and places. And as with many organizations, our work has converted to 100% online. We are grateful for the continued opportunities to support youth, families, educators, and communities in this format, and are learning so much along the way.
In rhythm with the rising of Makaliʻi and the arrival of Makahiki, we reflect in this newsletter on the meaningful work and forms of abundance we have experienced in the past few months even in this uncertain time, and offer our well-wishes to all for the season to come. We hope that you love reading this newsletter as much as we loved writing it – the work that is documented in the lines below truly represent the practices of abundance, selfless giving, self-care, and ALOHA that we have felt and shared these past months of an ever-shifting existence. The read is long, the words do indeed flow, and we hope you enjoy the journey. ????
We also recognize that the changes we are experiencing have been challenging for many of us, and continue to stand by to help in whatever way we can – please do reach out to us to connect, we would love to hear from you.
FOUNDATIONS OF ALOHA, guided by PONO SHIM
We learn so much from every cohort, and love seeing all the posts from participants for our daily creativity and movement activities that support our ALOHA explorations. We also love Padlet! See the link in the PD section below for more info on this wonderful app.
November will bring us to the close of our 4th Cohort of Foundations of ALOHA, and the launch of our 5th. Our goal for this work is to focus on re-establishing our homes, families and selves as centers for healing and learning, grounded in ALOHA. Since launching Foundations of ALOHA, our community of practice has grown to hundreds of families, youth, teachers, and community members that meet daily to practice and share experiences of ALOHA on many levels. In sharing and building upon Uncle Pono Shim’s teachings and practices of ALOHA rooted in that which was passed to him from Auntie Pilahi Paki, we grow our understanding of Aloha, Akahai, Lōkahi, ʻOluʻolu, Haʻahaʻa, and Ahonui. We are so grateful to all of our cohort participants over the months for the depth of learning and engagement you have helped us to achieve.
Cohort 5 begins on November 15, 2020 and continues for 5 weeks of daily practice and community building. Youth, families, and adults are provided daily activities that help to build their ALOHA responses, from inside themselves, to the community, and out to the planet. Families are also invited to meet with renowned healer and storyteller Pono Shim, to explore how ALOHA shows up in our lives in this time of physical distancing. Register for our fifth cohort here. Please email us at [email protected] for more information.
Connecting Over Distance:
Activities for all Ages
Lunalilo Home Day Program
We got to spend some time with kupuna and staff at Lunalilo Home as their first virtual activity volunteers! Kupuna at the home have historically engaged with volunteers in face-to-face activities, which are not possible under current health advisories. For this first activity, we connected via video-conference and walked through the building of a pinwheel together, first filling the petals of the pinwheel with words and drawings of “what moves us”. Mahalo to the amazing staff at Lunalilo Home for arranging supply pickup with us, and facilitating the activity on-site as we called in remotely. If you are interested in learning more about connecting with kupuna and sharing an activity, music, or other opportunities, please contact us at [email protected] and we will be happy to get you connected with Lunalilo Home!
PreK-Grade 3 ALOHA Program
6 youth from 4 families joined us in an early elementary pilot cohort of Foundations of ALOHA, led by our summer fellow Erica. We are so grateful for Erica for helping us explore what our programs look like when geared towards our youngest participants, and to our youth for shaping the success of the program. Through our daily explorations of ALOHA with this younger age group, we were able to learn so much about ourselves and the way these youth see the world and their relationships!
Supports for Educators – Sharing Practices, Holding Space
Our work over the years has also connected us to so many wonderful educators – public, private, charter; formal and informal; and now families supporting youth at home during distance learning. We are honored and humbled to have been asked to share some of our practices and what inspires us with hundreds of educators and community members through the Kamehameha Schools ʻOhana Engagement Conference, the Office of Hawaiian Education and Aupuni Palapala’s E Moʻolelo Kākou workshop, Hawaii Farm to School and School Garden Network’s Peace Gardens workshop, YWCA’s Aloha Circles, Waiwai Collective and Meet Need Hawaiʻi’s Innovation Agents panel, and Project Wayfinder’s international “The Pandemic is a Portal to a New Paradigm” panel, and to talk-story with faculty and staff of Kāneʻohe Elementary, Ke Kula Kaiapuni ʻo Ānuenue, Liliuokalani Trust Youth Development Programs, and several Bay Area schools. Thank you all for welcoming us into your space, and for your interest and energy in building #InnovationWithAloha into your work.
Mahalo to the youth who joined us for 4 weeks in our Youth Accelerator program, funded by Harold K. L. Castle Foundation, created in partnership with XLR8HI and Sultan Ventures. From ideation to prototyping, empathy and customer persona mapping, market research, and strategy development, we loved learning about all the ideas our youth have to bring positive impact to their communities, Hawaiʻi, and the world. This work deepens and broadens the work we began in 2019 with our XLR8YOUTH pilot program – stay tuned for info on the next XLR8YOUTH program, and next steps and big leaps with these amazing inventors!
ʻŌLINO VENTURES at LILIʻUOKALANI TRUST
For the past year, we have been humbled and honored to support the work of Liliʻuokalani Trust and the legacy of moʻi wahine Liliʻuokalani. Primarily our work finds us in service of the ʻŌlino Ventures Pathway, supporting the Queen’s beneficiaries in developing creative confidence, a sense of purpose, an understanding of their passions, and an entrepreneurial mindset. From hosting virtual sibling-learning and STEM-SEL camps for youth ages 8-18 in the spring and summer, to developing purpose- and prosperity-based lessons with Kipuka and staff across 5 islands, to piloting activities for older youth at the newly opened Lydia’s House, we endeavor to bring our background in place-based purpose learning, the teachings of the Queen, and the mission of the Trust to the hearts, minds, and lives of Hawaiian youth and communities.
KEALAHOU INITIATIVE (KĪ)
We are excited to partner with the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement on its very first formal youth leadership and entrepreneurship program! The Kealahou Initiative (also known as Kī) focuses on supporting ʻopio in developing leadership skills and entrepreneurial mindset for a thriving and prosperous lāhui. In this pilot run, 15 young innovators ages 14-30 are exploring their passions, purpose and values in areas of government policy, business and product development, social campaign and advocacy, and aloha ʻāina. Cohorts 2 and 3 aim to increase the number of participants to 40, with a culminating event in Summer 2021.
Youth-Led Educational Innovation: VOICE and Learning Hubs
Sponsored by a grant from Farmers Insurance, lead facilitator Zachary Morita of Niu Valley Middle School gathered a team of educators and organizations to support youth innovators in designing the types of educational opportunities they would like to see for their communities. Over Fall Break two teams – VOICE, a student-led mini-grant program and Learning Hubs, a multi-disciplinary region-specific innovation and design center – came together to hone their ideas, craft their pitches, refine their asks, and strategize next steps under the guidance and support of our EI team, Nate Gyotoku of Junior Achievement Hawaii, and Kristen Brummel of the Hawaii State Teacher Fellows.
About two years ago, our founder Miki was approached by a small group of social entrepreneurship education leaders to join an informal discussion circle that shared practices and thoughts on the promise of social entrepreneurship to inform and transform education. A year later, the group hosted their first formal event with the help of The Catalyst at Penn GSE, the home of the FIRST ever education entrepreneurship masters program — along with the Wharton School of Business, Penn GSE is part of the incredible movement to bring entrepreneurship to positively impact education and education systems. In this next chapter, Miki and EI are part of the founding circle of the group now known as Impact.Ed. Entrepreneurs and innovators from various fields of education and impact meet regularly to discuss new ideas, support each other in challenging times, and just celebrate the great work we know is happening in each of our lives. Most recently, we were part of a professional development session for Hillbrook School in the San Francisco Bay Area — the Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Hillbrook School is a unique and globally recognized JK-8th social entrepreneurship education program, and we were delighted to be able to share and learn with such amazing people!
Our long-time partner and collaborator recently released their newest set of activities – the Belonging Toolkit, designed to reach a more middle-school-aged audience. This long-awaited program builds upon the inspiration and momentum of the globally impactful Purpose Toolkit. As PW Guides and Trainers, we were so lucky to connect again with our friends at Hawaii Technology Academy to introduce them to the Belonging Toolkit as well as reacquaint them to the high-school-oriented Purpose lessons and resources. We also got to know Crystal Springs Uplands school in the San Francisco Bay Area as their guides and trainers as well; thank you Project Wayfinder for inviting us to help support all Hawaiʻi PW schools as well as schools across the continent and in other countries. We recognize the importance of belonging and connection during these times of online learning and we deeply appreciate all the teachers and administrators who brought us into the space to share.
Dayevin spent the summer with EI, rounding out the 8 months he spent with us as an intern (and the lifetime we have been together, since he helped us set up our first program at Hālau ʻĪnana 3 years ago!). In building his experience with marketing and brand identity, he helped EI in our process of developing brand guidelines and a potential website overhaul that reflects our core values. Thank you Dayevin for sharing with us so much of your time, your inspiration, and your journey from high school to post-high. We look forward to seeing where your next steps take you!
As a Teach for America Hawaiʻi summer fellow with EI, Erica brought her expertise in early elementary education to create a version of our Foundations of ALOHA programming focused on our early elementary youth, ages 4-8. We learned so much from Erica during her month with us and are so grateful for her expertise and joyous disposition.
We were blessed to receive the gift of Jeric’s time this past summer, when he chose to spend his internship hours for his Master’s program in Family and Human Development at Arizona State University with us. He brought with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in non-profit operations, as well as sports and fitness – tune in to our FOA cohort movement activities to practice strength and balance with Jeric!
Since March, our rEInvent Learning At Home programs have been our way of responding to requests for support from teachers, families, and youth — time to connect to each other, ways to explore planet and place together, learning about the practices and deep meanings of ALOHA during a time when aloha is so important. Civil Beat invited Miki to share her optimism and hope during these times in this article.
Hawaiʻi News Now
Mahalo Jim Mendoza and the HNN KGMB ʻohana for the invitation to share about our rEInvent Learning at Home programs. In this time of physical distancing and work-from-home, school-at-home, it is so important to connect to build our sense of belonging and community from inside our homes and our hearts. Mahalo to all the families, educators, youth, and community partners that have helped bring these programs to life – we look forward to growing our rEInvent Learning at Home family! Check out the news clip here.
Hawaiʻi Business Magazine
Mahalo Hawaii Business Magazine and Sterling Higa for spending time with us — we enjoyed sharing space with you, and are grateful for the opportunity to reflect on the joy we feel with our Foundations of Aloha program! As always, mahalo ʻAnakala Pono Shim, Auntie Pilahi Paki, and all of our participants for helping guide us along the way. Check out the article here.
Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement, and More by Mallika Chopra
This book is filled with simple practices that can help young (and not-as-young!) readers as they face day-to-day challenges, leading to a healthier, happier, and more connected life. At EI, we relied on this book heavily when we started our first online cohorts, and continue to regularly integrate meditation into Foundations of ALOHA and other programs.
Do you find yourself shopping via Amazon often? Did you know there is a way for you to support Education Incubator every time you purchase something on Amazon? Sign up through Amazon Smile and every time you shop, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases. And just like the Foodland Give Aloha Program, Amazon Smile also has a giant list of non-profit organizations, so please do check out all the other amazing organizations that would benefit from your support!
Mahalo to everybody for supporting us during these difficult times with your multiple forms of capital! We loved receiving gifts of time, thoughtful feedback, new experiences, knowledge, as well as monetary contributions to our GoFundMe Charity fundraising campaign. We are so grateful for each of you! If you would like to contribute to Education Incubator in any way, please contact us — we would love to hear from you!
• Omidyar ʻOhana Fund • Harold K.L. Castle Foundation • American Savings Bank •
• Superpower Academy • Project Wayfinder • Oʻahu Economic Development Board •
• Kamehameha Schools • Liliʻuokalani Trust • Hawaiʻi Investment Ready • Sultan Ventures •
• Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement • Million Dollar Roundtable Foundation •
• Office of Hawaiian Education • Kāneʻohe Elementary School • Central Middle School •
• Ocean Safety ʻOhana • Nā Kama Kai • Hō Mai Ka Pono • Hawaii Business Magazine •
• Central Pacific Bank • City & County of Honolulu • Rooted LLC • XLR8HI •