When there’s a knock at the door from Kahe to Ka‘ena, it might just be a helpful group from INPEACE’s Ho‘āla program. Recently, Ho‘āla and Parents as Teachers (PAT) Program Director, Nalani Galariada, and Community Recruiters Carmelita Westbrook, Saydee Pojas and Malery DuPont, sat down with Billy V from 940, KINE and KCCN’s Nā ʻŌiwi ʻŌlino program to explain why they go door-to-door to inform parents on the Waiʻanae Coast about the many resources available to them and their keiki.
The community recruiters split into groups of two to reach out to as many families as possible, sometimes visiting up to 140 homes a week. And, they come unannounced, which sometimes can seem intrusive to the occupants.Getting a foot in the door is sometimes challenging. “Most homes are fenced in. We have to use our voices,” said Westbrook. “People peek out, we wave to make them feel comfortable, call out again and most people are very receptive and come out,” she adds. Meeting the families in their own homes is much more effective than setting up an appointment in an office. The recruiters arrive with all the information and even the forms needed if parents choose to register their keiki for an early learning program. And, they assist them in filling out the forms.
Ho‘āla’s primary goal is to find out if there are children in the household and provide families with early learning information and community resources. The women answer parents’ questions and discuss the free programs and many other valuable resources available through Ho‘āla and other community organizations. The critical time in a keiki’s life is from zero to five years, when children must develop a solid foundation for learning.
The Ho‘āla team offers support to help parents understand their role as their child’s first and most important teacher, providing simple and effective tips to prepare their child for success. Through the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program, Native Hawaiian parents in the Wai‘anae Community are empowered to continue learning how to serve as their children’s first teacher. Parents meet with a certified PAT educator for free monthly in-home visits and learn about early childhood and brain development.
To hear the entire interview and learn more about the Ho‘āla program, log onto http://www.naoiwiolino.com/ click on Ho‘āla Program
Listen On Demand
And scroll in 45 minutes to hear the audio clip.