Free Pre-K Seats Available at Four Big Island Charter Schools

Applications for free, high-quality prekindergarten are still being accepted from qualified families at four public charter schools on the island of Hawaii. Children eligible to attend are four-year-olds whose birthdates fall on or between August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011 and whose family income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines for Hawaii.

Na Wai Ola Public Charter School, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School, Ke Kula ‘o N?wah?okalani‘?pu‘u Iki Laboratory Public Charter School (“Nawahi”), and Ka ‘Umeke K?‘eo Public Charter School (“Ka ‘Umeke”) are the first schools that will be providing pre-kindergarten under a $14.8 million, four-year federal Preschool Development Grant awarded to the State Public Charter School Commission in December. Nawahi and Ka ‘Umeke are Hawaiian language immersion schools whose pre-kindergarten programs will also be in Hawaiian. The grant is intended to serve 920 students, over four years, in 18 charter school classrooms statewide.

The Commission’s grant application was one of 18 applications approved for the highly competitive U.S. Department of Education Preschool Development Grant. Hawaii was one of only five states to be awarded a grant to open new preschool programs, as opposed to expanding current programs.

“This grant enables Hawaii to continue making progress with its early childhood education system,” said Commission Executive Director Tom Hutton. “By creating more high-quality prekindergarten classrooms in addition to those already operating on Hawaii DOE campuses, our public charter schools are helping to ensure that more of Hawaii’s keiki get the good start they will need in kindergarten and beyond.”

More information on the pre-K initiative and the participating schools is available on the Commission’s website,

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