Aloha United Way, Inc.

Contact Information

200 N Vineyard Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96817 - 3952
(808) 536-1951
Social Innovation Fund 2014

Executive Summary

"Aloha United Way Social Innovation Fund -- Ensuring Our Keiki are Ready for School" is an issue-based Social Innovation Fund (SIF) to address the Youth Development Focus area. The goals of the SIF are to increase kindergarten readiness for keiki (children) in two low-income communities on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, by scaling delivery of a pre-determined intervention that has preliminary evidence of impact and to divert more children from special education, resulting in significant cost savings to the state in delivering public education. The target population is 2-5 year olds and their parents/caregivers from the low-income, traditionally underserved communities of Kalihi-Palama and Waianae-Nanakuli on Oahu.

Most of Hawaii's young children are not screened for developmental or behavioral problems prior to school entry. It is estimated that 15,000 to 17,000 O'ahu children ages 0-5 have an undiagnosed developmental delay or disability. Over the past three years, in only 10.7% of Hawaii kindergarten classrooms did at least 3/4ths of children demonstrate the skills for future school success.

As a grant maker, Aloha United Way has focused on kindergarten readiness as a program priority for over 7 years. The SIF will significantly expand the impact of AUW's grant making in improving kindergarten readiness. Aloha United Way will make multi-year awards to 6-8 subgrantees to deliver an intervention that is low-cost, culturally-informed, and community-based. Subgrantees will deliver vision, hearing, social-emotional, and autism screenings to 6,080 children ages 2-5 annually as well as provide case management services for 1,780 children identified with developmental issues, linking them to essential services, and training their parents and caregivers.

The University of Hawai'i Center for Disability Studies (CDS) will serve as the evaluator for the SIF and provide technical assistance to subgrantees. Aloha United Way and CDS will develop a secure online system for subgrantees to submit data on screening processes and outcomes. The proposed data system is a highly innovative aspect of the AUW Social Innovation Fund because there is currently no readily available system with the capacity to collect and analyze screening results for multiple developmental assessments and track what happens to children referred for additional testing or treatment. AUW's program model, utilizing its' innovative comprehensive data system, is potentially of great value to developmental screening programs around the country.

The Aloha United Way SIF will be strengthened by a collective impact approach. Aloha United Way has assembled a coalition of partners who have pledged their expertise and support. The coalition members are the Governor's Executive Office on Early Learning; the Hawaii P-20 Council; the Hawaii State Department of Health; and the leading early childhood development nonprofit service providers on O'ahu, including Easter Seals Hawaii, Hawaii Autism Foundation, Child & Family Service, Good Beginnings Alliance, Learning Disabilities Association of Hawaii, and Parents & Children Together.

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